The evaluation of peptide receptors in man is needed not only to discover the physiological target tissues of a given peptide but also to identify diseases with a sufficient receptor overexpression for diagnostic or therapeutic interventions. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) receptors have been evaluated in human tumors and in their tissues. The VIP/PACAP receptor subtypes VPAC1, VPAC2, and PAC1 were evaluated in these tissues by determining the rank order of potencies of VIP and PACAP as well as VPAC1- and VPAC2-selective analogues.
The VIP/PACAP receptors expressed in the great majority of the most frequently occurring human tumors, including breast (100% receptor incidence), prostate (100%), pancreas (65%), lung (58%), colon (96%), stomach (54%), liver (49%), and urinary bladder (100%) carcinomas as well as lymphomas (58%) and meningiomas (100%), are predominantly of the VPAC1 type. the high VIP/PACAP receptor expression in tumors may represent the molecular basis for clinical applications of VIP/PACAP such as in vivo scintigraphy and radiotherapy of tumors as well as VIP/PACAP analogue treatment for tumor growth inhibition.