: Extra-pituitary ACTH secretion is associated with a variety of neoplastic conditions and may cause the so-called ectopic ACTH-dependent Cushing syndrome (CS). The clarification of the mechanisms of extra-pituitary ACTH expression would provide potential therapeutic targets for this complex and severe disease. In the adenohypophysis, the transcription factor TPIT, co-operating with other molecules, induces POMC expression and ACTH production. However, no data are currently available on the presence and role of TPIT expression in extra-pituitary ACTH-producing neoplasms. This study was designed to explore TPIT expression in a series of pulmonary and pancreatic ACTH-producing tumors, either CS-associated or not. Forty-one extra-pituitary ACTH-producing neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) were included in the study, encompassing 32 NETs of the lung (LuNETs), 7 of the pancreas (PanNETs), and 2 pheochromocytomas. Of these, 9 LuNETs, all PanNETs, and the two pheochromocytomas were CS-associated. For comparison, 6 NETs of the pituitary gland (PitNETs; 3 ACTH-secreting and 3 ACTH-negative) and 35 ACTH-negative extra-pituitary NETs (15 Lu-NETs and 20 PanNETs) were analyzed. Immunohistochemistry with specific anti-TPIT antibodies and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) were performed using standard protocols. TPIT expression was completely absent (protein and mRNA) in PanNETs, pheochromocytomas, and all ACTH-negative NETs. In contrast, it was expressed in 16/32 LuNETs, although with lower levels than in PitNETs. No definite relationship was found between immunohistochemistry TPIT expression and NET grade or the presence of Cushing syndrome. This study further highlights the clinical and biological heterogeneity of extra-pituitary ACTH secretion and suggests that the differences between ACTH-secreting PanNETs and LuNETs may mirror distinct molecular mechanisms underlying POMC expression. Our results point towards the recognition of a real corticotroph-like phenotype of ACTH-producing LuNETs, that is not a feature of ACTH-producing PanNETs.

Heterogeneity of TPIT expression in ACTH-secreting extra-pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) supports the existence of different cellular programs in pancreatic and pulmonary NETs

Uccella, Silvia;Leoni, Eleonora;Maragliano, Roberta;Libera, Laura;Tanda, Maria Laura;La Rosa, Stefano
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Extra-pituitary ACTH secretion is associated with a variety of neoplastic conditions and may cause the so-called ectopic ACTH-dependent Cushing syndrome (CS). The clarification of the mechanisms of extra-pituitary ACTH expression would provide potential therapeutic targets for this complex and severe disease. In the adenohypophysis, the transcription factor TPIT, co-operating with other molecules, induces POMC expression and ACTH production. However, no data are currently available on the presence and role of TPIT expression in extra-pituitary ACTH-producing neoplasms. This study was designed to explore TPIT expression in a series of pulmonary and pancreatic ACTH-producing tumors, either CS-associated or not. Forty-one extra-pituitary ACTH-producing neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) were included in the study, encompassing 32 NETs of the lung (LuNETs), 7 of the pancreas (PanNETs), and 2 pheochromocytomas. Of these, 9 LuNETs, all PanNETs, and the two pheochromocytomas were CS-associated. For comparison, 6 NETs of the pituitary gland (PitNETs; 3 ACTH-secreting and 3 ACTH-negative) and 35 ACTH-negative extra-pituitary NETs (15 Lu-NETs and 20 PanNETs) were analyzed. Immunohistochemistry with specific anti-TPIT antibodies and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) were performed using standard protocols. TPIT expression was completely absent (protein and mRNA) in PanNETs, pheochromocytomas, and all ACTH-negative NETs. In contrast, it was expressed in 16/32 LuNETs, although with lower levels than in PitNETs. No definite relationship was found between immunohistochemistry TPIT expression and NET grade or the presence of Cushing syndrome. This study further highlights the clinical and biological heterogeneity of extra-pituitary ACTH secretion and suggests that the differences between ACTH-secreting PanNETs and LuNETs may mirror distinct molecular mechanisms underlying POMC expression. Our results point towards the recognition of a real corticotroph-like phenotype of ACTH-producing LuNETs, that is not a feature of ACTH-producing PanNETs.
2023
2023
ACTH; ACTH-secreting neuroendocrine tumor; Ectopic ACTH secretion; Ectopic Cushing syndrome; Lung neuroendocrine tumor; Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor; TPIT
Uccella, Silvia; Leoni, Eleonora; Kaiser, Simon; Maragliano, Roberta; Valerio, Alessandro; Libera, Laura; Tanda, Maria Laura; Volante, Marco; Diviani,...espandi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2159171
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