Differential Effects of Somatostatin, Octreotide, and Lanreotide on Neuroendocrine Differentiation and Proliferation in Established and Primary NET Cell Lines: Possible Crosstalk with TGF-β Signaling

Hendrik Ungefroren*, Axel Künstner, Hauke Busch, Sören Franzenburg, Kim Luley, Fabrice Viol, Jörg Schrader, Björn Konukiewitz, Ulrich F. Wellner, Sebastian M. Meyhöfer, Tobias Keck, Jens Uwe Marquardt, Hendrik Lehnert

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


GEP-NETs are heterogeneous tumors originating from the pancreas (panNET) or the intestinal tract. Only a few patients with NETs are amenable to curative tumor resection, and for most patients, only palliative treatments to successfully control the disease or manage symptoms remain, such as with synthetic somatostatin (SST) analogs (SSAs), such as octreotide (OCT) or lanreotide (LAN). However, even cells expressing low levels of SST receptors (SSTRs) may exhibit significant responses to OCT, which suggests the possibility that SSAs signal through alternative mechanisms, e.g., transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. This signaling mode has been demonstrated in the established panNET line BON but not yet in other permanent (i.e., QGP) or primary (i.e., NT-3) panNET-derived cells. Here, we performed qPCR, immunoblot analyses, and cell counting assays to assess the effects of SST, OCT, LAN, and TGF-β1 on neuroendocrine marker expression and cell proliferation in NT-3, QGP, and BON cells. SST and SSAs were found to regulate a set of neuroendocrine genes in all three cell lines, with the effects of SST, mainly LAN, often differing from those of OCT. However, unlike NT-3 cells, BON cells failed to respond to OCT with growth arrest but paradoxically exhibited a growth-stimulatory effect after treatment with LAN. As previously shown for BON, NT-3 cells responded to TGF-β1 treatment with induction of expression of SST and SSTR2/5. Of note, the ability of NT-3 cells to respond to TGF-β1 with upregulation of the established TGF-β target gene SERPINE1 depended on cellular adherence to a collagen-coated matrix. Moreover, when applied to NT-3 cells for an extended period, i.e., 14 days, TGF-β1 induced growth suppression as shown earlier for BON cells. Finally, next-generation sequencing-based identification of microRNAs (miRNAs) in BON and NT-3 revealed that SST and OCT impact positively or negatively on the regulation of specific miRNAs. Our results suggest that primary panNET cells, such as NT-3, respond similarly as BON cells to SST, SSA, and TGF-β treatment and thus provide circumstantial evidence that crosstalk of SST and TGF-β signaling is not confined to BON cells but is a general feature of panNETs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15868
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 12.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

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