The renal tubular segment from which clear cell tumors originate was investigated in the kidneys of rats treated with N-nitrosomorpholine. This tumor type, which in the rat closely resembles that in man, is made up of clear and granular acidophilic cells and arises from tubules lined by clear cells. The tubular origin of the tumors was established in serial sections by demonstrating connections between both clear cell tumors and tubules lined by clear cells, and renal tubules of normal appearance. In 45 clear cell lesions (17 tumors and 28 tubules) one or more such connections were identified which belonged to the collecting system. In accordance with their localisation in the kidney, the clear cell lesions were connected predominantly to tubules of the cortical collecting system and occasionally to outer medullary collecting ducts. As previously reported, oncocytic tubules and microoncocytomas were observed to originate from the same portions of the collecting system. Rarely, microadenomas and tubules consisting of both oncocytes and clear or granular acidophilic cells were also observed in the kidneys studied.
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