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Differential expression of microRNAs in GH-secreting pituitary adenomas

Zhi-Gang Mao1, Dong-Sheng He1, Jing Zhou2, Bin Yao3, Wei-Wei Xiao2, Chun-Hua Chen2, Yong-Hong Zhu2* and Hai-Jun Wang1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Neurosurgery and Pituitary Tumor Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

2 Department of Histology and Embryology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

3 Department of Endocrinology and Pituitary Tumor Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2010, 5:79  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-5-79

Published: 7 December 2010

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to (1) identify specific miRNAs in growth hormones (GH)-secreting pituitary adenomas; (2) determine the relationship between the expression of these miRNAs and tumor size, somatostatin analogs treatment, and responsiveness to somatostatin analogs (SSA).

Methods

Fifteen GH-secreting adenomas patients were treated with lanreotide for 4 months before surgery. Patients with 50% reduction of GH secretion by lanreotide were considered as SSA responders, while patients with less than 50% of GH reduction were considered as SSA nonresponders. We analyzed the miRNAs in 21 GH-secreting pituitary adenomas and 6 normal pituitaries by miRCURY™ LNA array and some differentially expressed miRNAs were validated by quantitative real-time PCR.

Results

Fifty-two miRNAs were differentially expressed between GH-secreting pituitary adenomas and normal pituitaries. Differential expression of 9 miRNAs was observed between micro- and macro-adenomas. Thirteen miRNAs were differentially expressed between tumor samples from lanreotide-treated patients and those from lanreotide-untreated patients. Seven miRNAs were differentially expressed between SSA responders or GH nonresponders. Several identified miRNAs may be involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, cancer development and progression.

Conclusions

Our results indicate that altered miRNAs expression is involved in GH-secreting pituitary adenomas transformation, which will shed light on the mechanisms for the treatment of acromegaly by SSA. Identification and characterization of the targets of altered miRNAs genes may elucidate molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of pituitary adenoma.