Steroidal pathophysiology of a malignant, ACTH-producing pancreas tumor was investigated via HPLC-RIA determinations of intratissular concentrations of eleven main steroid hormones. The tumor specimen underwent extraction procedure with ethyl acetate and the extract was purified on a C18 minicolumn. Steroids were isolated by HPLC (C18-silica reversed phase stationary phase and methanol-water eluent system) and quantified by specific RIAs. Cortisol content of the tumor specimen was 15,700 pmol/g, the further steroid hormones were found in much lower concentrations (< 1.5-28 pmol/g). The extremely high cortisol concentration in the tissue witnesses the synthesis of the main glucocorticoid steroid in the ACTH-producing pancreas tumor and suggests a stimulating paracrine effect of ACTH on cortisol production. The present data verify that the determination of intratissular steroid concentrations by HPLC-RIA methods may identify even the most peculiar hormone sources and the hormone profiles facilitate studying pathophysiology of ectopic endocrine tumors.
- Ectopic ACTH syndrome
- High performance liquid chromatography
- Steroid isolation and purification
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