Adrenal tumors, such as pheochromocytomas, are known to express various peptides and their receptors. Prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) is a novel neuropeptide isolated from bovine hypothalamic tissues. In the present study, expression of PrRP receptor was studied in the human brain, pituitaries, adrenal glands and tumor tissues of adrenocortical tumors, pheochromocytomas, a ganglioneuroblastoma and neuroblastomas by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot analysis. The presence of immunoreactive-PrRP in the adrenal glands and in these tumor tissues was studied by radioimmunoassay. Human brain tissues and pituitaries were obtained at autopsy. Normal portions of adrenal glands and tumor tissues were obtained at surgery. RT-PCR analysis showed expression of PrRP receptor in the human brain, pituitaries, normal portions of adrenal glands and various tumor tissues. Northern blot analysis showed high expression of PrRP receptor only in tumor tissues of pheochromocytomas, indicating that PrRP receptor expression is high in pheochromocytomas. Immunoreactive-PrRP was detected in normal portions of adrenal glands (0.162±0.024pmol/g wet weight, n=4, mean±S.E.M.), four out of six cases of pheochromocytomas (0.050-7.9pmol/g wet weight), one neuroblastoma and some adrenocortical tumors. The present study has shown that PrRP receptor mRNA was widely expressed in the brain tissues, pituitaries, adrenal glands and various tumors. The high expression of PrRP receptor in pheochromocytomas suggests potential pathophysiological roles of PrRP in these tumors.
- Prolactin-releasing peptide