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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1987 Jun;64(6):1199-204.

Neuropeptide Y and its flanking peptide in human endocrine tumors and plasma.


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its flanking peptide (CPON) were measured in extracts of pheochromocytomas (n = 26), ganglioneuroblastomas (n = 8), and other tumors (n = 95) and plasma (n = 38). NPY was present in high concentrations in the majority of the pheochromocytomas, but was absent in 3 tumors. Similar concentrations of NPY were measured using N- and C-terminal-directed antisera, and there was a good correlation between the concentrations of NPY immunoreactivity and CPON immunoreactivity in the same extracts. Gel permeation chromatography revealed that the separate peptides NPY and CPON were the major products. No significant amounts of a large mol wt precursor containing both immunoreactivities was found. Among the other tumors, 6 of 22 carcinoid tumors, 2 of 2 somatostatinomas, and 3 of 18 insulinomas contained detectable amounts of NPY. Plasma NPY concentrations were very low in normal subjects, and extraction and a 10-fold concentration step were necessary to establish the normal range (0.35-1.25 pmol/L). Plasma NPY concentrations were detectable in unextracted plasma (10 pmol/L) in 50% of patients with pheochromocytomas, but no correlation was found between plasma NPY concentrations and either plasma norepinephrine or epinephrine concentrations. These results indicate that 1) NPY and CPON are present in most, but not all, pheochromocytomas and ganglioneuroblastomas; 2) secretion of NPY immunoreactivity may be independent of that of catecholamines; 3) CPON immunoreactivity is present in plasma of patients with pheochromocytoma; 4) the majority of NPY and CPON immunoreactivities appears to be in the form of the separate free peptide, and there is very little precursor containing both immunoreactivities expressed in these tumors; and 5) NPY immunoreactivity is present in a variety of other endocrine tumors.

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