Hormone-producing gastrointestinal tumors contain a high density of somatostatin receptors

Published on Thursday, 05 October 2017


Fourteen hormone-producing gastrointestinal tract tumors were tested for their content of somatostatin (SRIH) receptors, using receptor autoradiography and in vitro binding assay with tumor homogenates.

All four gastrinomas tested had high levels of SRIH receptors, as did two of five insulinomas and four of five vasoactive intestinal peptide-producing tumors.

Receptor visualization was obtained with two different radioligands, either a SRIH-28 analog, [125I]-[Leu8,D-Trp22,Tyr25]SRIH-28, or a SRIH octapeptide, the [125I]Tyr3 derivative of SMS 201-995 [H-DPhe-Cys-Phe-DTrp-Lys-Thr-Cys-Thr(ol)], [125I]204-090.

In both cases receptors were localized over the tumor cell area only. Biochemical and pharmacological analyses of one insulinoma and two vipomas revealed saturable, high affinity binding sites with pharmacological specificity for SRIH. However, differences in receptor affinity of selected SRIH analogs, in particular SRIH-28 and SRIH octapeptides, were found between the insulinomas and the two other tumor types, vipoma and gastrinoma. The presence of SRIH receptors on various hormone-producing gastrointestinal tumors suggests that at least part of the beneficial effects of chronic therapy with SRIH analogs may be mediated through such membrane-bound receptors located on the tumor itself.

SRIH receptor measurement may be of prognostic value in assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of SRIH analogs. They may also be of diagnostic value, if used as in vivo markers for the localization of small hormone-producing gastrointestinal tumors or their metastases.



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