Expression of Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Prolactin and Transcriptional Factors in Clinically Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenoma

Kazunori KAGEYAMA, Hidetoshi IKEDA, Takeshi NIGAWARA, Satoru SAKIHARA, Toshihiro SUDA
2007 Endocrine journal  
We describe here a case of a clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma, but with expression of ACTH and PRL. A 42-year-old woman was referred to our department for further evaluation of pituitary tumor. She had no acromegaloid features, and no typical Cushingoid features. She had no galactorrhea, and had regular menses. GH, IGF-I, LH, FSH, TSH, ACTH and cortisol levels in blood were all within the normal ranges, while PRL levels were mildly elevated. Both ACTH and cortisol levels were
more » ... levels were adequately increased in response to CRH, and both were suppressed by a small dose of dexamethasone. Plasma ACTH and cortisol levels were decreased at night, suggesting the circadian rhythms for plasma ACTH levels were undisturbed. Based on these findings we did not clinically suspect ACTH-producing tumor, however immunohistochemistry revealed ACTH immunoreactivity in the pituitary adenoma. Therefore, the tumor was considered a silent corticotroph adenoma. PRL was co-expressed in a significant subpopulation of ACTH-immunoreactive tumor cells. Ptx1, Neuro D1, and T pit were densely expressed and Pit-1 was sparsely expressed in the nuclei of adenoma cells. It is therefore possible that a tumor originating in an immature or uncommited adenohypophysial stem cell may later differentiate into different cell types due to a combination of certain specific transcriptional factors.
doi:10.1507/endocrj.k07e-030 pmid:18079591 fatcat:szemsyjy3fd2zijg2umz3llpoe