In vitro and in vivo detection of somatostatin receptors in pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas

J. C. Reubi, B. Waser, S. Khosla, L. Kvols, J. R. Goellner, E. Krenning, S. Lamberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Fifty-one adrenal pheochromocytomas and 14 paragangliomas were evaluated for somatostatin (SRIH) receptor content with in vitro autoradiography on tissue sections from surgically removed tumors, using iodinated 125I[Tyr]3octreotide as radioligand. Thirty-seven of 51 pheochromocytomas were SRIH receptor positive (73%), as well as 13 of 14 paragangliomas (93%). These SRIH receptors were of high affinity, pharmacologically specific for SRIH and localized on the tumor tissue. Using in vivo imaging techniques with radiolabeled SRIH analogs, paragangliomas could be visualized in five patients, as well as pheochromocytomas in two of three patients. All tumors tested subsequently in vitro (n = 7) were shown to contain SRIH receptors. A majority of pheochromocytomas were also shown to have a high tumoral SRIH content as measured by immunohistochemical techniques. Detection of SRIH messenger RNA in pheochromocytomas by in situ hybridization indicated that the SRIH was produced in the tumors. A weak inverse correlation was observed between SRIH receptor status and tumoral SRIH content, suggesting that SRIH receptors may be downregulated by high levels of endogenous SRIH in some tumors. There was no correlation between the SRIH receptor status and sex, age, tumor size, benign us. malignant tumor, or urinary metanephrine excretion. These tumors were also analyzed for allelic losses on various chromosomes and showed significant loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 1p, 3p, 17p, and 22q. All eight tumors with LOH on chromosome 1p were SRIH receptor positive (100%), whereas only 6 of 11 tumors without LOH on 1p (55%) were SRIH receptor positive, suggesting a correlation between LOH on 1p and SRIH receptor positive status. SRIH receptors thus represent a consistent pathobiochemical marker for most of these adrenal and extra-adrenal tumors. In addition, these receptors may be of potential interest for the in vivo localization of these tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1089
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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