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Gastrin releasing peptide in human neuroendocrine tumours

, : Gastrin releasing peptide in human neuroendocrine tumours. Journal of Pathology 147(4): 237-244

Neuroendocrine tumours of the lung and gut are known to possess bombesin-like immunoreactivity. The recent observation that gastrin releasing peptide (GRP), a 27 amino acid peptide isolated from the porcine intestine, may be the mammalian analogue of bombesin led us to look for this peptide in a variety of human neoplasms. Formalin-fixed tissues from 85 tumours were examined by the immunoperoxidase technique, using specific antisera to the GRP molecule (1-27) and the GRP fragment (1-16). Intense cytoplasmic GRP immunoreactivity was seen in thyroid medullary carcinomas (3/3), carcinoids of lung, pancreas, and intestine (22/36), and paragangliomas (2/3). Less frequent staining was present in pulmonary small cell (oat cell) carcinomas (1/18) and pituitary adenomas (1/6). Complete absence of immunoreactivity was observed in three phaeochromocytomas, five Merkel cell tumours, six neuroblastomas and 15 non-neuroendocrine tumours. Normal neuroendocrine cells of the thyroid (C-cells) and bronchial mucosa (Kulchitsky cells) exhibited GRP immunoreactivity; nerve fibres from all sites failed to demonstrate staining for GRP. In each positive case, the pattern of staining for GRP (1-27) and GRP (1-16) was identical, although the GRP (1-16) immunostaining was weaker. These findings indicate that bombesin immunoreactivity in human neuroendocrine cells and tumours is attributable to GRP-like molecules and that GRP is a useful marker of neuroendocrine differentiation in many tumours.


PMID: 3003308

DOI: 10.1002/path.1711470402

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