Somatostatin receptors and disease: Role of receptor subtypes

Leo J. Hofland*, Steven W.J. Lamberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


A variety of human neuroendocrine tumours express SSTR. The five recently cloned human SSTR subtypes have a distinct chromosomal localization and pharmacological profile, and a tissue-specific expression pattern which suggests a differential function of SSTR subtypes in different organ systems. Most tumours carrying SSTR may express multiple SSTR subtypes, while the SSTR2 subtype is most predominantly expressed. The somatostatin analogue, octreotide, binds with high affinity to the SSTR2 and SSTR5 subtype and with a low affinity to the SSTR3 subtype. This analogue does not bind to the SSTR1 and SSTR4 subtypes. No major differences in the binding characteristics have been found between octreotide and two other clinically used octapeptide SST-analogues, BIM-23014 and RC-160. Our preliminary data indicate that an absent hormonal response to octreotide in vitro also implies an absent response to BIM-23014 and RC-160. The expression of the SSTR2 subtype in human tumours is proposed to be related to a clinical beneficial effect of octreotide treatment, while the functional significance of the other SSTR subtypes is not clear at present. In addition it is unclear which subtype(s) is involved in the antimitotic actions of SST(-analogues). Further developments with regard to the oncological application of SST analogues await the identification of the SSTR subtype(s) mediating anti-proliferative effects, as well as the development of analogues which selectively activate this subtype(s). A good correlation has been found between the presence of SSTR2 subtype mRNA and binding of [125I-Tyr3]octreotide in human primary tumours. Therefore, SSTR scintigraphy of human primary tumours and their metastases presumably visualizes SSTR2-expressing tumours, although it is reasonable to assume that SSTR5, and to a lesser extent SSTR3, when expressed simultaneously with SSTR2, also contribute to the visualization of tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalBailliere's Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996


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