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Octreotide, the reticuloendothelial system, and experimental liver tumour.
  1. N Davies,
  2. H Kynaston,
  3. J Yates,
  4. B A Taylor,
  5. S A Jenkins
  1. Department of Surgery, University of Liverpool.


    The inhibitory effect of octreotide on the growth of liver tumour is probably mediated (at least in part) by stimulation of the hepatic reticuloendothelial system (RES) activity. This study therefore investigated the effect of octreotide on the hepatic and splenic RES (assessed by the uptake of technetium 99m labelled albumin colloid, 99mTc-AC) in normal and tumour bearing rats and in animals treated with gadolinium chloride. The effects of gadolinium chloride and octreotide alone or in combination on the growth of liver tumour were also studied. Octreotide significantly stimulates both hepatic and splenic uptake of 99mTc-AC in normal rats and tumour bearing rats. In controls, the uptake of 99mTc-AC was significantly reduced by gadolinium chloride and was not changed by octreotide. RES blockade with gadolinium chloride significantly increased (p < 0.001) tumour growth compared with controls (hepatic replacement 42%; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 27.6 to 56.4 v 16.7%, 95% CI, 11.1 to 21.3%) whereas octreotide significantly inhibited (p < 0.001) the percentage hepatic replacement by tumour (0.7%; 95% CI, 0 to 2.3 v 16.7%; 95% CI, 11.1 to 21.3). This study highlights the importance of the RES in the development of liver tumour. Furthermore, octreotide inhibited the growth of liver tumour in rats with RES blockade, albeit to a lesser degree than in normal animals. These findings suggest that octreotide inhibits the growth of hepatic tumour by mechanisms other than stimulation of RES activity.

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