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Growth factors and carcinoid tumours.

Journal article
Authors Ola Nilsson
Bo Wängberg
A McRae
A Dahlström
Håkan Ahlman
Published in Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 115-24
ISSN 0284-186X
Publication year 1993
Published at Institute of Surgical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Pages 115-24
Language en
Keywords Animals, Carcinoid Tumor, metabolism, ultrastructure, Gastrointestinal Neoplasms, metabolism, ultrastructure, Growth Substances, biosynthesis, Humans, Muridae
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Surgery


The presence of growth factors and their receptors in human midgut carcinoids and in gastric carcinoids of Mastomys have been investigated. Human midgut carcinoid tumours produce IGF-I as demonstrated by immunocytochemistry and radioimmunoassay. IGF-I receptors were detectable in half of the tumours and stimulation of cultured tumour cells with IGF-I enhanced DNA synthesis. IGF-I may therefore act as an autocrine stimulator of carcinoid tumour growth. Expression of TGF-alpha and EGF-receptors could also be demonstrated in midgut carcinoids by immunocytochemistry and Northern analysis, suggesting that TGF-alpha participates in the autocrine modulation of carcinoid growth. Co-culture of human midgut carcinoid tumours and rat fetal cholinergic neurons demonstrated secretion of a potent neuronotrophic factor by cultured tumour cells. IGF-I and TGF-alpha may account for these neuronotrophic effects, but carcinoid tumours may also secrete an as yet unidentified growth factor. Gastric (ECL cell) carcinoids developed rapidly in Mastomys during hypergastrinemia due to histamine2-receptor blockade, suggesting that gastrin is an essential growth factor for these carcinoids.

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