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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Jan;84(1):233-9.

High gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK) gene expression in human neuronal, renal, and myogenic stem cell tumors: comparison with CCK-A and CCK-B receptor contents.

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Division of Cell Biology and Experimental Cancer Research, Institute of Pathology, University of Berne, Switzerland.


Gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK) are two major regulatory peptides synthesized by human gut and brain tissues as well as by selected tumors, in particular gastrin-producing neuroendocrine tumors. In the present study we have evaluated gastrin and CCK gene expression in a group of primary human tumors, including neuronal, renal, and myogenic stem cell tumors, using in situ hybridization techniques. In addition, CCK-A and CCK-B receptors were evaluated in the same group of tumors with receptor autoradiography. Most tumors had gastrin messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA): 10 of 11 medulloblastomas, 5 of 5 central primitive neuroectodermal tumors, 11 of 11 Ewing sarcomas, 8 of 10 neuroblastomas, 4 of 4 Wilms' tumors, 5 of 5 rhabdomyosarcomas, and 10 of 10 leiomyosarcomas. CCK mRNA was restricted predominantly to Ewing sarcomas (9 of 11) and leiomyosarcomas (5 of 10). CCK-A and CCK-B receptors were not frequently found in these tumors, except for leiomyosarcomas. These data suggest that gastrin and CCK may play a previously unrecognized role in this group of human stem cell tumors. If the increased gastrin mRNA indeed translates into increased gastrin production, measurement of gastrinemia may have a diagnostic significance in the early detection of these tumors. As these two hormones have been reported to act as potent growth factors, they may be of pathophysiological relevance for patients with such stem cell tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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