Immunohistochemical expression and localization of somatostatin receptor subtypes in prostate cancer with neuroendocrine differentiation

D. Morichetti, R. Mazzucchelli, A. Santinelli, D. Stramazzotti, A. Lopez-Beltran, M. Scarpelli, A. V. Bono, L. Cheng, Rodolfo Montironi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The aim of the study is to examine the tissue expression and localization of the somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) in prostate cancer (PCa) with neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation. The five SSTR subtypes (SSTRl to 5) were evaluated immunohistochemically in the secretory cells of normal-looking epithelium (Nep), high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) and PCa in 20 radical prostatectomies (RPs) with Gleason score 3+3=6 acinar PCa; 20 RPs with GS 4+4=8 and 4+5=9 PCa; and 20 RPs with PCa with NE differentiation. The basal cells were evaluated in Nep and HGPIN. In all groups the stromal smooth muscle and endothelial cells were also analyzed. Concerning the secretory cells, (i) the greatest mean proportions of cells with strong cytoplasmic staining in PCa were seen for SSTR2, mainly in the group of RP with NE differentiation, and for SSTR4 in all three groups; the mean values in HGPIN were intermediate between Nep and PCa; (ii) Membrane staining was seen for SSTR3 and SSTR4; the mean percentages of positive cells, higher in SSTR3 than in SSTR4, decreased from Nep to HGPIN and PCa in all three RP groups; in the latter two, the mean percentages were similar; and (iii) Nuclear staining was seen with SSTR4 and SSTR5; for SSTR4, the mean percentages in the PCa of the three groups were higher than in HGPIN and Nep, the highest proportion being with PCa with NE differentiation. Concerning the basal cells, in Nep the mean proportions of cells with strong staining intensity were greater for SSTRl and SSTR3 than for the other subtypes, the lowest being with SSTR2; in HGPIN the highest mean propositions of positive cells was with SSTR3, the proportions in the three RP groups being similar. Concerning the stromal smooth muscle and endothelial cells, the highest mean values being in SSTRl and the lowest in SSTR5; for the former subtype the highest proportion of endothelial cells with strong intensity was seen in the RP NE group. In conclusion, this immunohistochemical study expands our knowledge on the expression and localization of five SSTRs in the various tissue components in the prostate with PCa with NE differentiation, compared with conventional PCa. Typing somatostatin receptor expression in NE tumours could be of relevance to target somatostatin analogue-based diagnostic approach and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-522
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of immunopathology and pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia
  • NE differentiation
  • Prostate cancer
  • Somatostatin receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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