In vitro detection of somatostatin receptors in human tumors

Metabolism. 1992 Sep;41(9 Suppl 2):104-10. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(92)90042-9.


Somatostatin receptors (SSR) have been identified in membrane homogenates or tissue sections from several hundred human tumors. SSR have been found in most neuroendocrine tumors, ie, growth hormone (GH)- and thyrotropin (TSH)-producing pituitary tumors, endocrine gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) tumors, paragangliomas, pheochromocytomas, medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC), and small-cell lung carcinomas. SSR have also been found in the majority of malignant lymphomas, in several brain tumors (all meningiomas, most astrocytomas), and in breast tumors. The majority of tumors expressing SSR are rather differentiated, eg, astrocytomas in contrast to glioblastomas, but exceptions such as high-grade malignant lymphomas do exist. An inverse relationship exists between SSR and receptors for epidermal growth factor in lung tumors, glial tumors, and most breast tumors, whereas meningiomas express both receptors simultaneously. A minority of tumors such as ovarian tumors, MTC, and insulinomas express a subtype of SSR characterized by low affinity for the octapeptide SS analogue, octreotide. The function of SSR in human tumors differs according to tumor type; SSR in pituitary and GEP tumors mediate hormone secretion inhibition and possibly have some antiproliferative effects. However, in meningiomas, activation of SSR inhibits forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity and weakly stimulates proliferation. Although SSR seem to mediate antiproliferative effects in animal models and cell lines of lymphomas and breast and lung tumors, such an effect has not yet been convincingly documented in human primary tumors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoradiography
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / analysis*
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Somatostatin / analysis
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Somatostatin