A Critical Evaluation of sst3 and sst5 Immunohistochemistry in Human Pituitary Adenomas.

Körner, M.; Waser, Beatrice; Christ, E.; Beck, J.; Reubi, J.C. (2018). A Critical Evaluation of sst3 and sst5 Immunohistochemistry in Human Pituitary Adenomas. Neuroendocrinology, 106(2), pp. 116-127. Karger 10.1159/000472563

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Somatostatin receptor (sst) overexpression in neuroendocrine tumors allows sst-targeted tumor imaging and therapy with long-acting, cold, or radioactive somatostatin analogs. sst2 has been most important, owing to its wide overexpression and high affinity for somatostatin analogs, but other sst subtypes become of increasing clinical interest due to drug development. Immunohistochemistry is the preferred method to detect sst in resected tumor tissues. While it is established for sst2 using the antibody UMB-1, there is less experience for other sst subtypes.


sst3 and sst5 immunohistochemistry using the antibodies UMB-5 and UMB-4 was evaluated in 60 pituitary adenomas and compared with in vitro sst autoradiography (ARG), the in vitro gold standard method to assess sst.


UMB-4 immunohistochemistry for sst5 yielded membranous staining of tumor cells. It correlated fairly well with ARG, results matching in 80% of tumors. UMB-5 immunohistochemistry for sst3 showed not only a membranous, but also cytoplasmic background staining. Agreement with ARG was limited. All tumors showed UMB-5 staining, while only 57% were positive by ARG. In comparison, UMB-1 staining levels showed a highly significant correlation with autoradiographic sst2 density levels (R2 = 0.797). Not only tumor cells, but also intratumoral blood vessels were immunohistochemically positive for sst2, 3, and 5.


UMB-1 immunohistochemistry for sst2 is excellent. sst3 immunohistochemistry using UMB-5 is not yet optimal, with suspected limited specificity, and should be applied with caution. UMB-4 immunohistochemistry for sst5 appears to be equivalent to sst5-ARG and suitable for diagnostic applications.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurosurgery

UniBE Contributor:

Körner Jachertz, Meike, Christ, Emanuel, Beck, Jürgen, Reubi-Kattenbusch, Jean-Claude


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Christa Hagert

Date Deposited:

04 Dec 2018 10:20

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2023 12:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Immunohistochemistry Pituitary adenoma Receptor autoradiography Somatostatin receptor sst2 sst3 sst5





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