The effects of glucocorticoids and progesterone on hormone-responsive human breast cancer in long-term tissue culture.
Glucocorticoids, at physiological concentration, inhibit cell division and thymidine incorporation in three lines of human breast cancer maintained in long-term tissue culture. At steroid concentrations sufficient to inhibit thymidine incorporation 50%, little or no effect is seen on protein synthesis 48 hr after hormone addition. All three of these lines are shown to have glucocorticoid receptors demonstrable by competitive protein binding assays. Receptors are extensively characterized in one line by sucrose density gradient analysis and binding specificity studies. Good correlation between receptor-binding specificity and biological activity is found except for progesterone, which binds to glucocorticoid receptor but is noninhibitory. Cross-competition and quantification studies demonstrate a separate receptor for progesterone. This receptor has limited binding specificities restricted largely to progestational agents, whereas the glucocorticoid receptor bound both glucocorticoids and progesterone. Two other human breast cancer lines neither contain glucocorticoid receptor nor are inhibited by glucocorticoids. It is concluded that in some cases glucocorticoids can directly limit growth in human breast cancer in vitro without requiring alterations in other trophic hormones. (+info)
Differential regulation of specific genes in MCF-7 and the ICI 182780-resistant cell line MCF-7/182R-6.
To elucidate the mechanisms involved in anti-oestrogen resistance, two human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and the ICI 182780-resistant cell line, MCF-7/182R-6, have been compared with regard to oestrogen receptor (ER) expression, ER function, ER regulation, growth requirements and differentially expressed gene products. MCF-7/182R-6 cells express a reduced level of ER protein. The ER protein is functional with respect to binding of oestradiol and the anti-oestrogens tamoxifen, 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen and ICI 182780, whereas expression and oestrogen induction of the progesterone receptor is lost in MCF-7/182R-6 cells. The ER protein and the ER mRNA are regulated similarly in the two cell lines when subjected to treatment with oestradiol or ICI 182780. Oestradiol down-regulates ER mRNA and ER protein expression. ICI 182780 has no initial effect on ER mRNA expression whereas the ER protein level decreases rapidly in cells treated with ICI 182780, indicating a severely decreased stability of the ER protein when bound to ICI 182780. In vitro growth experiments revealed that the ICI 182780-resistant cell line had evolved to an oestradiol-independent phenotype, able to grow with close to maximal growth rate both in the absence of oestradiol and in the presence of ICI 182780. Comparison of gene expression between the two cell lines revealed relatively few differences, indicating that a limited number of changes is involved in the development of anti-oestrogen resistance. Identification of the differentially expressed gene products are currently in progress. (+info)
Low levels of cathepsin D are associated with a poor prognosis in endometrial cancer.
Total cytosolic cathepsin D (Cat D) levels were estimated by an immunoradiometric assay in a series of 156 consecutive patients with surgical stages I-III primary endometrial adenocarcinoma. Simultaneously, the tissue content of both oestrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors, and p185HER-2/neu, DNA content (ploidy), and the fraction of S-phase cells (S-phase) were also estimated. Tumoral Cat D content ranged from 0 to 243 pmol mg(-1) protein (median 44 pmol mg(-1) protein) and was not associated with any of the established clinicopathological and biological prognostic variables, with the exception of a weak positive correlation with the tumoral p185HER-2/neu levels. Univariable analysis performed on a subset of 97 patients, followed for a minimum of 2 years or until death, showed that patient age at diagnosis, high histological grade, advanced surgical stage, vascular invasion, positive peritoneal cytology, low levels of Cat D, negative ER and PR status, aneuploidy, and high S-phase were predictive of the presence of persistent or recurrent disease. However, multivariable analysis revealed that only histological grade, surgical stage, Cat D and PR were significantly associated with the patient's outcome. From these findings, we conclude that Cat D is an independent prognostic factor in endometrial adenocarcinoma, its low levels being associated with a worse clinical outcome. (+info)
Marker molecules of human endometrial differentiation can be hormonally regulated under in-vitro conditions as in-vivo.
An established cell culture system of isolated human endometrial stromal and epithelial cells has been used to study the effects of oestrogen and progesterone, as well as their antagonists, upon endometrial cells. Normal hormonal regulation in vivo was investigated simultaneously in endometrial tissue samples taken at different phases of the menstrual cycle. Several marker molecules analysed by immunohistochemistry appeared to depend strongly on endocrine regulation and could be traced in culture. Immunohistochemically, basic parameters of cell biology were identified in vitro, e.g. cell proliferation (Ki-67), adhesion molecules (beta3 integrin) and paracrine factors (leukaemia inhibitory factor). The most reliable parameters to assess hormonal influences were oestrogen and progesterone receptor molecules. Immunohistochemical localization could be improved by molecular biological analysis using RT-PCR. In the presence of oestrogen, a significant expression of hormone receptors was also shown by RT-PCR, and withdrawal of oestrogens and addition of gestagen, i.e. medroxyprogesterone acetate, caused receptor downregulation. Addition of the anti-oestrogen ICI 182.780 to cell-culture medium significantly decreased the synthesis of progesterone receptors. (+info)
Endometrial oestrogen and progesterone receptors and their relationship to sonographic appearance of the endometrium.
The rapid development of ultrasonographic equipment now permits instantaneous assessment of follicles and endometrium. The sonographic appearance of the endometrium has been discussed in relation to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. However, a generally agreed view of the relationship of the sonographic appearance to fecundity in IVF cycles has not emerged. We have studied the relationship between steroid receptors and the sonographic appearance of the preovulatory endometrium in natural cycles and ovulation induction cycles. Preovulatory endometrial thickness was not found to be indicative of fecundity, although a preovulatory endometrial thickness of <9 mm related to an elevated miscarriage rate. The preovulatory endometrial echo pattern did not predict fecundity. No relationships were found among endometrial appearance, endometrial steroid receptors and steroid hormone concentrations in serum. Oestrogen or progesterone receptor concentrations were not related to endometrial thickness or to concentrations of serum oestradiol, the only significant correlation being found between the endometrial concentrations of oestrogen and progesterone receptors. The ratio of progesterone:oestrogen receptor concentration was somewhat less in echo pattern B (not triple line) endometrium compared with pattern A (triple line) endometrium. Oestrogen and progesterone receptor concentrations appeared stable on gonadotrophin induction, though fewer numbers were found during clomiphene cycles than in natural cycles. With regard to the distribution of receptor concentration between clomiphene and natural cycles, most women using clomiphene had very low oestrogen receptor populations. Pregnancy rates were low, in spite of high ovulatory rates during clomiphene treatment and were mainly related to low oestrogen receptor concentrations in preovulatory endometrium. (+info)
Mechanism of action and clinical effects of antiprogestins on the non-pregnant uterus.
Considerable progress has been made in elucidating the mechanism of action of antiprogestins. The biological response to a progesterone antagonist depends on many factors. The usual effect is that of an antagonist, but progesterone agnostic or even antioestrogenic or oestrogenic effects have also been observed. The present review focuses on the clinical applications of antiprogestins in the non-pregnant uterus. Whereas high doses of antiprogestins block ovulation, low doses impair endometrial development without affecting ovulation, hormonal levels or bleeding patterns Indeed, the endometrium is the tissue which is the most sensitive to antiprogestins. The effect of antiprogestins is to produce a delay in endometrial maturation and to postpone the appearance of the implantation window. This concept of 'endometrial contraception' requires further testing in humans, although the principle has been proven in monkeys. In contrast to the low doses of mifepristone which delay endometrial maturation, a minimum dose of 50 mg is required to produce endometrial bleeding. Late luteal phase antiprogestin administration does not disturb ovulation, hormonal levels or bleeding patterns. This has clinical application, and mifepristone has been used together with prostaglandins in women with delayed menses to successfully prevent implantation. Mifepristone has also been shown to be an effective post-coital agent. However, when used on a regular basis once monthly at the end of the cycle as a potential contraceptive, the results are disappointing. Because of their antiproliferative and anti-oestrogenic effects on the endometrium, antiprogestins are also used in the treatment of oestrogen-dependent conditions such as endometriosis and fibromyomas. In humans, chronic administration of high doses of antiprogestins has on rare occasions been associated with endometrial hyperplasia, presumably a consequence of unopposed oestrogen activity. This does not occur with low doses (1 mg daily for 5 months). (+info)
Expression of the oxytocin receptor in relation to steroid receptors in the uterus of a primate model, the marmoset monkey.
The dynamics of the receptors for oestrogen (ER), progesterone (PR) and oxytocin (OTR) in the marmoset uterus have been analysed throughout the entire cycle and early pregnancy. Uteri obtained during the early, mid/late and late proliferative phase, and the early, mid and late secretory phase and early pregnancy were examined by immunohistochemistry (OTR, ER, PR) and autoradiography (OTR). A massive upregulation of the ER in the cell nuclei of glandular epithelium and stromal cells during the mid proliferative phase was succeeded by a declining staining intensity and positively stained cell number in the secretory phase. PR immunoreactivity increased in the late proliferative phase and early secretory phase, mainly within the cell nuclei, and then declined in both intensity and cell number towards the mid to late secretory phase. Myometrium showed a similar staining pattern for the steroid receptors. OTR were expressed weakly in stroma throughout the entire cycle, increasing slightly in the secretory phase. Glandular epithelium showed positive staining only during the periovulatory period. Myometrial OTR expression was weak during the proliferative phase, increased towards the secretory phase, and was maximal in the late secretory phase. Myometrial tissue adjacent to endometrium was most strongly stained. A cyclic shift evidently occurred in the pattern of steroid receptors, perhaps reflecting the steroid environment or the luteinizing hormone increase associated with ovulation. (+info)
Phenotypic and functional studies of leukocytes in human endometrium and endometriosis.
The aetiology of endometriosis, a common and disabling disorder, is presently unknown, although immune dysfunction could allow ectopic endometrial fragments to survive outside the uterine cavity. These studies investigate the relationship between leukocyte populations, steroid hormone receptor expression, proliferative activity, bcl-2 expression and apoptosis in eutopic and ectopic endometrium from women with endometriosis or adenomyosis at different phases of the menstrual cycle. Significantly increased oestrogen receptor expression, bcl-2 expression and numbers of CD8+ leukocytes were found in ectopic compared with eutopic endometrium in endometriosis, and CD56+ endometrial granulated lymphocytes (eGLs) were significantly reduced in ectopic endometrium. Apoptotic cells were rarely found in control and subject endometria. In contrast with endometriosis, adenomyotic lesions showed identical steroid hormone receptor expression, proliferative activity, bcl-2 expression and leukocyte subpopulations to eutopic endometrium, indicating different aetiologies for these disorders. The unusual CD56+ CD16- eGLs present in large numbers in late secretory phase eutopic endometrium were highly purified (>98%) by immunomagnetic separation. Except for a negligible cytotoxic activity of eGLs from early proliferative samples, cytotoxic activity of eGLs from non-pregnant endometrium during the menstrual cycle was comparable with those in peripheral blood, predominantly CD56+ CD16+ natural killer cells. eGLs from non-pregnant endometrium and early pregnancy showed a variable proliferative response to 5 and 100 U/ml interleukin-2 over 48-h and 120-h time courses. eGLs are evidently functionally important in the eutopic endometrium. Their absence in endometriotic lesions together with increased CD+8 T-cell numbers and increased oestrogen receptor and bcl-2 expression may have significant effects on the development and progression of endometriosis. (+info)