We summarize here our data showing that various phenotypical characteristics distinguish prolactinoma cell lines obtained from responder and nonresponder patients, as defined by their responses to bromocriptine administration. Nonresponder cell lines have a higher degree of malignancy than responder cells and do not express D2 receptors for dopamine. Both cell lines express NGF receptors. Exposure of the most malignant nonresponder cell lines to NGF, both in vitro and when transplanted in vivo in nude mice, results in their differentiation into the responder phenotype reexpressing D2 receptors. Sequential administration of NGF and bromocriptine thus may be a promising therapy for patients refractory to bromocriptine.

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