The role of cell lines in the study of neuroendocrine tumors

Neuroendocrinology. 2012;96(3):173-87. doi: 10.1159/000338793. Epub 2012 Jun 7.


Cell lines originating from neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) represent useful experimental models to assess the control of synthesis and release of different hormones and hormone-like peptides, to evaluate the mechanisms of action of these agents in target tissues at the cellular and subcellular levels, and to study cell proliferation and tumor development, as well as the effect of different drugs on these complex processes. To date, the understanding of NET biology (with regard to their mechanisms of hormone secretion, cell proliferation and metastatic spread) has been hampered by the lack of appropriate animal models or cell lines for their study. In the present review, we aim to summarize the recent in vitro/in vivo data regarding cell lines derived from NETs which are most frequently employed in experimental neuroendocrinology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / metabolism*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Hormones