• odontogenic tumours;
  • induction;
  • adenomatoid odontogenic tumour;
  • metaplastic mineralisation

Objective:  To undertake a detailed histological investigation of a large series of adenomatoid odontogenic tumours (AOT) to document the frequency and histomorphology of secretory cells which might indicate an inductive capacity.

Materials and methods:  Haematoxylin and eosin stained sections of 51 cases of AOT were reviewed. Selected cases were stained with periodic acid-schiff (PAS) and Congo red.

Results:  In five cases, secretory structures with a circular arrangement of tall columnar cells secreting enameloid-like matrix material were identified. Such structures have only very rarely been identified in AOT and their frequency, distribution and morphology have not been adequately documented.

Conclusions:  We have documented the presence of tall secretory columnar cells, arranged in a circular configuration actively secreting enameloid-like material and believe that such an ordered arrangement of secretory cells is more likely a result of tissue induction rather than metaplasia. The origin of these secretory structures from the pseudo-ductular component is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.