To investigate the release of neuropeptide Y (NPY) from the pheochromocytomas, we studied the relationship between the plasma and tumor tissue immunoreactive (IR) NPY concentrations in 13 patients with pheochromocytoma and measured the IR-NPY concentration in plasma samples obtained by catheter from several veins (jugular veins, superior vena cava, renal veins, adrenal veins and inferior vena cava) in 2 patients with pheochromocytoma. The plasma IR-NPY concentration in 13 patients with pheochromocytoma ranged from 118 to 1460 pg/ml and the concentration in 10 of 13 patients with pheochromocytoma was above 290 pg/ml (the upper limit of normal range). The tumor tissue IR-NPY ranged from 0.025 to 95.3 μg/g wet tissue. Plasma IR-NPY was parallel with tumor tissue IR-NPY in 13 cases of pheochromocytoma (r = 0.76, P < 0.01). The highest concentration of IR-NPY was found in plasma obtained from the drainage vein from a tumor among the plasma samples obtained from several veins in 2 cases of pheochromocytoma. These findings indicate that in patients with pheochromocytoma, NPY is in most cases excessively released from the tumors into the systemic circulation and plasma IR-NPY in the periphery is increased.
ASJC Scopus subject areas