The term chromophobe refers to histological structures which do not take up colored dye readily, and thus appear more relatively pale under the microscope -- hence their "fear" ("phobia") of "color" ("chrome").


The term is most commonly associated with the anterior pituitary, where approximately half of the cells are considered chromophobes. (Of the remaining cells, about a third are basophils, and the other two thirds acidophils.) The chromophobe cells do not actually appear clear, but rather a light blue (in contrast to the deep blue of the basophils.) [BUHistology|14002loa]


"Chromophobe" also refers to a type of renal cell carcinoma (distinct from "clear cell"). [ [ ACS :: What Is Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma)? ] ]


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