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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential somatostatin receptor subtype expression in human normal pineal gland and pineal parenchymal tumors.

Somatostatin is a potent antiproliferative signal in both tumoral and normal mammalian cells, and altered somatostatin receptor (sst) expression is associated with carcinogenesis in human tissues. In this study, two normal and three tumoral human pineal glands were analyzed using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the presence of mRNA coding for the five different somatostatin receptors (sst1-sst5). Pineal parenchymal tumor (PPT) differentiation was confirmed by immunohistochemical detection of neuroendocrine markers (synaptophysin, neurofilaments, and chromogranin A). The presence of mRNA coding for c-myc, a proto-oncogene, and for tryptophan hydroxylase (TPOH), serotonin N-acetyltransferase (NAT), and hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT), enzymes of the melatonin pathway, was also analyzed by RT-PCR. Only the tumoral tissues contained c-myc mRNA. All five tissues contained TPOH, NAT, and HIOMT mRNA, the levels of HIOMT mRNA being lower in PPT than in the normal pineal gland, suggesting that PPT retain the ability to synthesize melatonin. All tissues contained sst1, sst2, and sst3 transcripts, but not sst4, while small amounts of sst5 mRNA were only found in normal pineal glands. Real-time PCR, performed only with the most abundant subtpe sst2, evidenced an about sixfold higher level in in normal pineal glands. These results demonstrate the presence of somatostatin receptors in the human pineal gland, as described in other species, and point to a differential expression of the sst2 and sst5 subtypes associated with carcinogenesis.[1]


  1. Differential somatostatin receptor subtype expression in human normal pineal gland and pineal parenchymal tumors. Champier, J., Jouvet, A., Rey, C., Guyotat, J., Fevre-Montange, M. Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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