Multihormonal pituitary adenoma concomitant with Pit-1 and Tpit lineage cells causing acromegaly associated with subclinical Cushing's disease: a case report

Tomoko Takiguchi, Hisashi Koide, Hidekazu Nagano, Akitoshi Nakayama, Masanori Fujimoto, Ai Tamura, Eri Komai, Akina Shiga, Takashi Kono, Seiichiro Higuchi, Ikki Sakuma, Naoko Hashimoto, Sawako Suzuki, Yui Miyabayashi, Norio Ishiwatari, Kentaro Horiguchi, Yukio Nakatani, Koutaro Yokote, Tomoaki Tanaka
BMC Endocrine Disorders 2017 September 2, 17 (1): 54

BACKGROUND: A functional pituitary adenoma can produce multiple anterior-pituitary hormones, such as growth hormone (GH) -producing adenomas (GHoma) with prolactin or thyrotropin stimulating hormone production in the same lineage. However, it is very rare that acromegaly shows subclinical Cushing's disease (SCD) beyond the lineage. Here we describe the involvement of intratumoral coexistence with 2 types of hormone-producing cells associated with different lineage in acromegaly concomitant with SCD.

CASE PRESENTATION: In our study, we performed clinical evaluation of the patient showing acromegaly with SCD. To elucidate the mechanisms of this pathology, we analyzed immunohistochemistry and gene expression of anterior-pituitary hormones and transcriptional factors in the resected pituitary tumor. On immunohistochemical staining, most of the tumor cells were strongly stained for GH antibody, while some cells were strongly positive for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Gene expression analysis of a transsphenoidal surgery sample of the pituitary gland revealed that ACTH-related genes, such as POMC, Tpit, and NeuroD1 mRNA, had higher expression in the tumor tissue than the nonfunctional adenoma but lower expression compared to an adenoma of typical Cushing's disease. Further, double-labeling detection methods with a fluorescent stain for ACTH and GH demonstrated the coexistence of ACTH-positive cells (GH-negative) among the GH-positive cells in the tumor. Additionally, Pit-1 expression was reduced in the ACTH-positive cells from tumor tissue primary culture.

CONCLUSION: Here we described a case of a pituitary tumor diagnosed with acromegaly associated with SCD. We performed quantitative-expression analyses of transcriptional factors of the tumor tissue and immunohistochemistry analysis of tumor-derived primary culture cells, which suggested that the multihormonal pituitary adenoma concomitant with Pit-1 and Tpit lineage cells caused acromegaly associated with SCD.


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