Journal of Histology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 237630, 9 pages
Research Article

Histochemical and Immunohistochemical Study of Peripolar Cells in Sheep

1Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde do Porto, Rua da Linha 224, 4900-739 Viana do Castelo, Portugal
2Escola de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal

Received 26 January 2013; Accepted 1 April 2013

Academic Editor: Francesco Cappello

Copyright © 2013 Passos Joana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Peripolar cells are granulated cells located in the vascular pole of the renal corpuscle. Even though these cells have already been described, there are still many unknown histological and physiological characteristics. We carried out histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses of peripolar cells in sheep and compared their number in both normal and injured kidneys, discriminating according to the age of the animal. We tested HE, Toluidine Blue, PAS, and Masson's Trichrome stains to select the best stain for identification and quantification. Masson Trichrome yielded the best results and was selected for this purpose. We identified the cells by the presence of cytoplasmatic granules and by their position in the vascular pole. We found no statistically significant association between the number of peripolar cells and the age of the animal or the occurrence of lesions. In the immunohistochemical analysis, we found that the cells were positive to α-smooth muscle actin and less consistently positive to NSE and S100 protein. Chromogranin A, cyclooxygenase-2, AE1/AE3, and Wide Spectrum Cytokeratin and desmin yielded negative results. We conclude that although there was evidence of a contractile function, there was no evidence to support that peripolar cells have either a neuroendocrine or an epithelial nature.