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J Clin Invest. 1972 Jan;51(1):141-8.

Biosynthesis of vasopressin in vitro and ultrastructure of a bronchogenic carcinoma. Patient with the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone.


Tumors from patients with the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) have been found to contain large amounts of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. A lung tumor from a patient with hyponatremia most likely due to SIADH was removed at surgery and found to contain 23.5 mU vasopressin/g wet weight by radioimmunoassay Slices of this tumor were incubated with phenylalanine-(3)H. Arginine vasopressin-(3)H was purified from the incubate by Sephadex G-25 column chromatography in two different systems, performic acid oxidation, and gradient elution column chromatography with diethylaminoethyl Sephadex. As oxidation of vasopressin results in drastic conformational change with breaking of the ring of the cyclic polypeptide and addition of two cysteic acid residues per molecule, the radioactive material which eluted coincident with vasopressin both before and after this procedure was considered to be arginine vasopressin-(3)H. To our knowledge this is the first demonstration of in vitro biosynthesis of vasopressin by a tumor from a patient with SIADH.Ultrastructurally, the bronchogenic carcinoma was composed of small undifferentiated and granulated cells. The granulated neoplastic cells had well developed organelles (endoplasmic reticulum, free ribosomes) concerned with protein synthesis. Secretion granules present in the tumor cells were small, surrounded by a limiting membrane, and resembled those reported in polypeptide hormone-secreting cells.

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