Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Diagnostic Pathology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research

N-cadherin is differentially expressed in histological subtypes of papillary renal cell carcinoma

Carl Ludwig Behnes1*, Bernhard Hemmerlein1, Arne Strauss2, Heinz-Joachim Radzun1 and Felix Bremmer1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37083, Göttingen, Germany

2 Department of Urology, University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Straße 40, 37075, Göttingen, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:95  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-95

Published: 13 August 2012



Papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) represents a rare tumor, which is divided, based on histological criteria, into two subtypes. In contrast to type I papillary RCC type II papillary RCC shows a worse prognosis. So far, reliable immunohistochemical markers for the distinction of these subtypes are not available.


In the present study the expression of N(neural)-, E(epithelial)-, P(placental)-, und KSP(kidney specific)-cadherin was examined in 22 papillary RCC of histological type I and 18 papillary RCC of histological type II (n = 40).


All papillary RCC type II displayed a membranous expression for N-cadherin, whereas type I did not show any membranous positivity for N-cadherin. E-cadherin exhibited a stronger, but not significant, membranous as well as cytoplasmic expression in type II than in type I papillary RCC. A diagnostic relevant expression of P- and KSP-cadherin could not be demonstrated in both tumor entities.


Thus N-cadherin represents the first immunhistochemical marker for a clear cut differentiation between papillary RCC type I and type II and could be a target for therapy and diagnostic in the future.

Virtual slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: webcite

N-cadherin; Histological subtypes; Papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC); Immunohistochemistry