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Regul Pept. 1986 Jan;13(2):169-82.

Neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity in adrenaline cells of adrenal medulla and in tumors and plasma of pheochromocytoma patients.


The occurrence of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-like immunoreactivity (LI) in the adrenal gland of several species as well as in tumor tissue and plasma from pheochromocytoma patients was investigated. NPY-LI was present in chromaffin cells of the adrenaline type in all species investigated except in the pig, as demonstrated by a colocalization of NPY-LI and the adrenaline-synthetizing enzyme phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). NPY-LI in the adrenaline cells of the cat was clearly separated from the neurotensin-LI in the noradrenaline dopamine-beta-hydroxylase-positive, PNMT-negative cells. NPY-LI seems to co-exist with enkephalin-like material in the chromaffin cells. In addition, NPY-LI was present in nerves both within the adrenal cortex and medulla. The highest levels of NPY-LI were found in mouse and cat, while only a very low amount of NPY-LI was present in the pig adrenal. Characterization of the adrenal NPY-LI by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography revealed that the main peak was similar to porcine NPY. In addition, two minor peaks of NPY-LI were present. High levels of NPY-LI were found in plasma and tumors from the pheochromocytoma patients. During manipulation of the tumors upon surgical removal, there was a marked increase in plasma NPY-LI in parallel with the raise in catecholamines and in blood pressure. At least two forms of NPY-LI were present in plasma and tumor extracts from pheochromocytoma patients with the main peak corresponding to porcine NPY. Since NPY exerts vasoconstrictor effects, it may be postulated that NPY contributes to the adrenal cardiovascular response and to the hypertension seen in pheochromocytoma patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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