Gastrinoma in vitro: morphological and physiological studies of primary cell cultures.

Original article


Gower WR Jr, Ellison EC, Knierim TH, Elkhammas EA, O’Dorisio TM, Fabri PJ.

James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Department of Biochemistry, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa.

Gastroenterology. 1990 Apr;98(4):936-54.


Functional gastrin-containing tumor cells were maintained for up to 8 wk without fibroblastoid cell overgrowth. Short-term cultures consisted mainly of colonies composed of small polygonal cells, 70%-90% of which stained positive for immunoreactive gastrin. Cultures exhibited limited growth but viability remained high for 2-3 wk. Culture medium contained component I, and gastrin 34, 17, and 14. With time the major C-terminal gastrin species in medium changed from gastrin 17 at 3 days to gastrin 34 at 5 wk. Extracts of cultured cells contained gastrin 34, 17, and 14; gastrin 17 was the major form detected at all times. Ultrastructurally, cultured tumor cells retained morphological integrity for several weeks; however, with time changes in the appearance of the secretory granules accompanied by evidence of cellular retrodifferentiation were gradually observed. Secretin, gastrin-releasing peptide, 8-bromoadenosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate, and phorbol, 12-myristate, 13-acetate stimulated the release of gastrin from cultured cells in a time-dependent fashion. Secretin, bombesin, gastrin-releasing peptide, L-tryptophan, and ethylamine stimulated gastrin release in a dose-dependent fashion. Somatostatin 14 inhibited secretin, bombesin, and gastrin-releasing peptide stimulated gastrin release but did not alter basal release. Cultured cells demonstrated de novo gastrin synthesis, evidenced by their ability to incorporate radiolabeled amino acids into immunoadsorbable gastrinlike material. Primary cultures of gastrin-containing tumor cells free from stromal contamination offer unique advantages for studies of factors that regulate the synthesis and secretion of gastrin and may prove of potential value for studies on cell differentiation and growth.

Keywords: Gastrinoma in vitro: morphological and physiological studies of primary cell cultures.