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Renin messenger (m) RNA distribution was studied in congenital mesoblastic nephroma, a usually benign renal tumour of early infancy which may be associated with excess renin production and hypertension. Using in situ hybridization with synthetic radiolabelled oligonucleotide probes combined with immunohistochemical studies, renin expression was found in areas of tumours containing recognizable cortical structures including glomeruli and tubules. Renin mRNA was also detected in vessels and larger vascular spaces within the tumour not associated with cortical structures. Cells in the tumour vessel walls and sinusoids which expressed renin also stained positively for vascular smooth muscle-specific α actin.