Prolactinomas express human heparin-binding secretory transforming gene (hst) protein product: Marker of tumour invasiveness

Ilan Shimon, David R. Hinton, Martin H. Weiss, Shlomo Melmed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: We have shown previously that heparin-binding secretory transforming gene (hst) overexpression in rat pituitary cells mediates lactotroph tumour growth and stimulates PRL transcription, and that transforming sequences of the gene, which encode fibroblast growth factor-4 (FGF-4), are expressed in human prolactinomas. To further determine the role of hst in human PRL-secreting adenoma pathogenesis we studied the presence of hst protein in these tumours end other types of human pituitary adenoma. PATIENTS AND DESIGN: Pituitary adenoma tissue samples were obtained at surgery from 14 patients with PRL-secreting adenomas, 5 patients with GH- secreting tumours, 3 with ACTH-secreting, and 13 patients with nonfunctioning tumours. Two normal pituitary tissue specimens were also studied. Clinical data, including tumour invasiveness assessed by preoperative MRI studies, were available. For hst protein immunolocalization, tumour frozen sections were immunostained with antihuman FGF-4 antibody. Immunoperoxidase staining for the proliferation-related nuclear antigen KI-67 was performed using MIB- 1 monoclonal antibody. RESULTS: Normal anterior pituitary cells did not contain immunoreactive hst protein. Lactotrophs in five of 14 prolactinomas (36%) stained strongly for hst compared with immunoreactive pituicytes in only one of 21 nonfunctioning, GH-, and ACTH-secreting adenomas (P = 0.05). Immunoreactive hst in adenoma cells was detected in 3 of 5 invasive prolactinomas, and in 2 of 9 noninvasive PRL-cell adenomas. Immunostaining for the proliferation-related antigen Ki-67 showed a higher proliferation index in hst-positive adenomas (3.94 + 0.85%) as compared with those immunonegative for hst (1.98 + 0.7%; P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: hst protein may be directly involved in prolactinoma development or progression, particularly in invasive tumours, probably due to the growth promoting effects of FGF-4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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