Expression of somatostatin receptor subtypes in human thyroid tumors: the immunohistochemical and molecular biology (RT-PCR) investigation

Published on Friday, 30 August 2013


Human endocrine tumors often express the somatostatin receptors SSTR 1-5 with different intensity.

It has been widely investigated their distribution in pituitary adenomas, brain tumors, adrenal tumors and neuroendocrine tumors in gastrointestinal tract (NET).

Some of studies also concern the expression of SSTRs in thyroid tumors but they are mainly limited to parafollicular C cells - derived medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC).

Results of SSTR 1-5 detection in other thyroid pathologies like follicular adenomas and papillary cancers are still scarce and often controversial, depending of investigation method used.

The aim of this study was to report the presence of all the 5 subtypes of SSTR (including 2A and 2B SSTR isoforms) in some surgically treated human thyroid tumors by means of immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR method and to correlate the results obtained with both techniques.

SSTR 1 protein was expressed in 88.8% of investigated cases, SSTR 2A and 2B both in 44.4%, SSTR 3 in 55.5%, SSTR 4 in 11.2% and SSTR 5 in 33.3%. SSTR 1 is the dominant form in the thyroid gland tumor and hyperplasia.

We found positive confirmation of both methods in 88.8% for SSTR 1, 2A, 3 subtypes, in 22.2% for SSTR 4 and in 100% for SSTR 5.

It suggests that somatostatin multiligand analogs or selective SSTR 1 agonists may be used in thyroid tumors treatment.



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See also Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences.