Analysis of gastrinomas by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization histochemistry.Diagn Mol Pathol. 1992 Sep; 1(3):155-64.DM
Gastrinomas from 25 patients were examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISH). Most patients (84%) presented with the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Six had multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN-I). Twelve patients (48%) had duodenal primaries and 11 of 12 of these had metastases to regional lymph nodes and/or liver in spite of the small sizes of the primary tumors (mean size of 0.9 cm). Five patients had pancreatic gastrinomas and eight patients had metastatic tumor in regional lymph nodes or liver at surgery but a primary was not found. IHC and ISH analyses showed that all cases were positive for gastrin protein and 24 of 25 (96%) expressed gastrin mRNA that was easily detected in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections. Both benign and malignant tumors expressed alpha subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin protein (alpha-HCG). However, only malignant gastrinomas (29%) expressed adrenocorticotropic hormone protein or proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA. ISH and Northern hybridization analysis revealed that chromogranin A mRNA was the most common member of the chromogranin/secretogranin (Cg/Sg) family which was expressed in both benign and malignant gastrinomas. These results indicate that duodenal gastrinomas are common in both sporadic and MEN-1-associated cases, and small duodenal primaries may be associated with extensive regional lymph node and liver metastases. Expression of ACTH/POMC protein and mRNA was consistently associated only with malignant gastrinomas while gastrin protein, gastrin mRNA and Cgs/Sgs mRNAs were readily detected in both benign and malignant gastrinomas.