NPY receptors in human cancer: A review of current knowledge

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Many peptide hormone receptors are over-expressed in human cancer, permitting an in vivo targeting of tumors for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. NPY receptors are novel and promising candidates in this field. Using in vitro receptor autoradiography, Y1 and Y2 receptors have been found to be expressed in breast carcinomas, adrenal gland and related tumors, renal cell carcinomas, and ovarian cancers in both tumor cells and tumor-associated blood vessels. Pathophysiologically, tumoral NPY receptors may be activated by endogenous NPY released from intratumoral nerve fibers or tumor cells themselves, and mediate NPY effects on tumor cell proliferation and tumoral blood supply. Clinically, tumoral NPY receptors may be targeted with NPY analogs coupled with adequate radionuclides or cytotoxic agents for a scintigraphic tumor imaging and/or tumor therapy.

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