The effects of somatostatin (SS-14 and/or SS-28) and of the three octapeptide SS-analogs that are available for clinical use (octreotide, BIM-23014 and RC-160) on hormone release by primary cultures of 15 clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFA), 7 prolactinomas, and 2 insulinomas were investigated. In the pituitary adenoma cultures, a comparison was made with the effects of the dopamine (DA) agonists bromocriptine and/or quinagolide. In 5 NFAs, 2 prolactinomas and 1 insulinoma somatostatin receptor (subtype) expression was determined by ligand binding studies and by in situ hybridization to detect sst1, sst2, and sst3 messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Four NFA cultures did not secrete detectable amounts of alpha-subunit, FSH, and/or LH. In the other cultures, hormone and/or subunit release was inhibited by DA-agonists (10 nM) in 9 of 11, by SS (10 nM) in 7 of 11, and by octapeptide SS-analogs (10 nM) in 3 of 10 cultures. In three NFA cultures, hormone release was sensitive to SS but not to SS-analogs. In all cultures, except for one, DA-agonists were the most effective in inhibiting hormone release. In the prolactinoma cultures, PRL release was inhibited by DA-agonists (10 nM) in 7 of 7, by SS in 4 of 4, and by octapeptide SS-analogs in 3 of 7 cultures. A dissociation between the effects of SS and SS-analogs was found in 3 cases. In the cultures sensitive to both bromocriptine and SS-28, bromocriptine was the most potent compound in 2 out of 4 cultures. In the 2 other cultures, both compounds were equally effective. In 2 insulinoma cultures, insulin release was inhibited by SS, and by octapeptide SS-analogs in only one. The presence or absence of an inhibitory effect by octreotide was in all cases in parallel with the presence or absence of the inhibitory effect by BIM-23014 and RC-160. Autoradiographic studies using [125I-Tyr0]SS28 showed specific binding in 4 of 5 NFAs, 1 of 2 prolactinomas, and 1 of 1 insulinoma. Specific [125I-Tyr3]octreotide binding was found in 2 of 5 NFAs, in 1 of 2 prolactinomas, and in the insulinoma. Two NFAs showed binding of SS28, but not of the sst2.5 specific ligand octreotide. The tumors showed variable sst1 and/or sst3 mRNA expression, whereas no sst2 expression was found. In conclusion, a dissociation between the inhibitory effects of SS on the one hand and of the octapeptide SS-analogs octreotide, BIM-23014 and RC-160 on the other hand, is observed in a small subgroup of NFAs, prolactinomas, and insulinomas, suggesting that novel sst subtype specific SS-analogs might be of benefit in the treatment of selected patients with somatostatin receptor positive secreting tumors not responding to octapeptide SS-analogs. However, in the majority of NFAs and prolactinomas, DA-agonists were equally or more effective than SS in the suppression of tumoral secretion products.

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Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hofland, L., de Herder, W., Visser-Wisselaar, H., van Uffelen, C., Waaijers, M., Zuyderwijk, J., … Kros, J. (1997). Dissociation between the effects of somatostatin (SS) and octapeptide SS-analogs on hormone release in a small subgroup of pituitary- and islet cell tumors. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Retrieved from