Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in neuroblastoma: Effect on growth and vascularization

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Neuroblastomas are pediatric tumors of sympathetic origin, expressing neuronal markers, such as NPY and its receptors. Due to this, neuroblastomas are often associated with elevated plasma levels of NPY, which correlates with poor clinical outcome of the disease. This clinical data corroborates the recent discovery of growth-promoting actions of NPY in neuroblastomas. The peptide has been shown to stimulate proliferation of neuroblastoma cells in an autocrine manner and induce tumor vascularization. Since both processes are mediated by the same Y2 and Y5 receptors, targeting this pathway may be a potential bidirectional therapy for these children's tumors.

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