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Regul Pept. 1990 Feb 4;27(2):195-207.

Significance of gastric endocrine tumor and age-related gut peptide alterations in Mastomys.

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Gastrointestinal Surgical Research Group, Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, CT 06510.


The Mastomys (Praomys natalensis) species are a unique natural model in which the bioactivity of gastric carcinoids may be studied. Several investigators have previously demonstrated that these tumors contain large amounts of histamine. In this study we investigated the presence of peptides associated with the neoplasm. The levels and location of gastrin, gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP), neurotensin, peptide YY (PYY), pancreatic polypeptide (PP), glucagon, bombesin, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and somatostatin (SRIF) were investigated by radioimmunoassay and immunocytochemistry. In addition the distribution of these peptides were evaluated in the gastrointestinal tract of young and old animals to investigate possible age-related changes. PYY and enteroglucagon (EG) were significantly (P less than 0.001) elevated in both tumor tissue (676 +/- 152, 551 +/- 164 pmol/g) and plasma (620 +/- 160, 500 +/- 147 pmol/l) of tumor-bearing animals. Immunocytochemistry revealed PYY- and EG-like immunoreactivity in 20-30% of tumor cells. A significant decrease (P less than 0.05) in bombesin was noted in older animals, but no changes in gastric tissue content of PYY or EG could be detected between young and old animals. Gastrin was not detected in tumors and there were no significant changes in tissue or plasma levels with age. Small bowel concentrations of VIP and PYY were higher in the older mastomys (P less than 0.05). In contrast, colonic levels of bombesin, VIP, somatostatin and PYY were significantly lower (P less than 0.05) in older mastomys compared with young. The age-related changes in several peptides may reflect an adaptive response to acid hypersecretion. The multi-hormonal character of these neoplasms suggests that these tumors develop from a pluripotential stem cell.

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