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This is a narrative review of literature introducing somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) as part of understanding the somatotroph cells since they are positive in normal cells but also in tumoral cells as seen in somatotropinoma, a growth hormone (GH)-producing neoplasia, which causes acromegaly. They are five subtypes of SSTRs (1 to 5), which are immunohistochemically positive in different proportions in somatotropinomas. SSTR types 2 and 5 are most frequent in GH-secreting adenomas and they are both targeted by medical therapy with somatostatin analogues (SSTAs) like first generation Octreotide and Lanreotide (mainly targeting SSTR2) and second generation Pasireotide (with highest affinity for SSTR5), thus heterogeneous SSTRs configuration into the tumor explains different pattern of response to treatment and it might predict it once the SSTRs immunostaining is performed. Monoclonal antibodies are used for immunohistochemical detection of SSTRs; currently, a lack of standardization is presented, and scoring systems, such as Volante, H-score or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-score, are applied. Immunoreactive markers like SSTRs are the U-turn in clinical practice regarding somatotropinomas since the configuration of subtypes 2 and 5 explains the responsiveness to medical therapy like SSTA. Further achievement of disease control is imperiously necessary because acromegaly has an increased rate of morbidity and mortality.


Nina Ionovici, Mara Carsote, Dana Cristina Terzea, Anca Mihaela Predescu, Anne Marie Rauten, Mihaela Popescu. Somatostatin receptors in normal and acromegalic somatotroph cells: the U-turn of the clinician to immunohistochemistry report - a review. Romanian journal of morphology and embryology = Revue roumaine de morphologie et embryologie. 2020 Apr-Jun;61(2):353-359

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PMID: 33544787

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