Immunohistochemical determination of five somatostatin receptors in meningioma reveals frequent overexpression of somatostatin receptor subtype sst2A

Clin Cancer Res. 2000 May;6(5):1865-74.


Meningioma is one of a variety of human tumors that exhibit a very high density of somatostatin receptors and in many cases show a true positive somatostatin receptor scintigraphy. However, the level of expression of individual somatostatin receptor proteins in meningioma has not been investigated. We have recently developed a panel of somatostatin receptor subtype-specific antibodies that effectively stain formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue (S. Schulz et al., Clin. Cancer Res., 4: 2047-2052, 1998). In the present study, we have used these antibodies to determine the somatostatin receptor status of 40 randomly selected meningiomas. Immunoreactive staining for all somatostatin receptors was clearly located at the plasma membrane of the tumor cells and completely blocked with antigenic peptide. The vast majority of tumors (29 cases; 70%) were positive for sst2A immunoreactivity; among these, 20 (69%) tumors showed high levels of sst2A immunoreactivity. In contrast, all other somatostatin receptors were only detected sporadically, and none of these cases revealed a particularly strong staining. However, it is uncertain to what extent somatostatin receptor-immunoreactive staining intensity may translate into somatostatin receptor protein expression on the tumor cells. Therefore, in a prospective study, 16 surgically removed meningiomas were collected, and the level of sst2A expression was determined using Western blot analysis. Whereas sst2A was readily detectable as a broad band migrating at Mr 70,000 in 12 (75%) of these tumors, 8 tumors (50%) showed particularly high levels of immunoreactive sst2A receptors. There was an excellent correlation (P < 0.001) between the level of sst2A protein expression detected in Western blots and the sst2A- immunoreactive staining seen in tissue sections. Thus, the frequent overexpression of the sst2A receptor may explain the high tracer uptake often observed in meningioma patients during somatostatin receptor scintigraphy. Moreover, this simple immunohistochemical method could prove useful in identifying those cases of recurrent disease that may possibly respond to therapy with sst2-selective agonists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Meningioma / metabolism*
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Somatostatin / biosynthesis*


  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • somatostatin receptor sst2A