In vitro autoradiographic and in vivo scintigraphic localization of somatostatin receptors in human lymphatic tissue

Published on Wednesday, 01 May 2013


Receptors for the neuropeptide somatostatin (SS) were evaluated in vitro and in vivo in various human lymphatic tissues, ie, thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes; thymic carcinoids and thymomas were also tested.

The receptors were measured in vitro using receptor autoradiography on tissue sections incubated with the SS analog 125I-[Tyr3]-octreotide or 125I-[Leu8,D-Trp22,Tyr25]-SS-28.

All tissues were SS-receptor positive for either radioligand, except the thymomas. In thymic tissue, the receptors were diffusely located in the medulla, presumably on epithelial cells. In the spleen, the red pulp was strongly labeled. In the lymph nodes, the germinal centers were preferentially labeled. In all tissues, the receptors were of high affinity (kd thymus, 0.84 nmol/L; kd spleen, 1.6 nmol/L; kd lymph node, 0.62 nmol/L) and specific for SS.

Displacement by nanomolar concentrations of SS-14, SS-28, and octreotide was observed, as was guanosine triphosphate dependency.

The in vivo visualization of somatostatin receptors was performed after injection of 111In-DTPA-octreotide and gamma-camera scintigraphy. The spleen, but not thymus or lymph nodes, were visualized.

These data suggest an important role for SS in regulating immune functions through SS receptors in thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes. Furthermore, SS may regulate neuroendocrine functions in the thymus.



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