Effects of gonadal steroids on the growth of human pituitary adenomas in vitro

Brunella Caronti, Guido Palladini, Caterina Calderaro, Maria Gabriella Bevilacqua, Elisa Petrangeli, Vincenzo Esposito, Guido Tamburrano, Alberto Gulino, Marie Lise Jaffrain-Rea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and methyltrienolone (R 1881) on cell proliferation of eight human pituitary tumors in culture wre assessed by [3H]thy-midine incorporation and compared to those of progesterone (Pg) and 17β-estradiol. Receptors for androgens (AR), estrogens (ER) and progesterone (PgR) were characterized. AR had a significant inhibitory effect on all AR-positive tumors, whatever their hormonal content. Inhibitory effects of either T and DHT <R1881 <Pg were observed in tumors co-expressing AR and PgR. The inhibitory effect of R 1881 on a PgR-posi-tive/AR-negative tumor suggested that R 1881 action was partially PgR-mediated. The effects of either T or the nonaromatizable DHT and R 1881 were unrelated to ER expression. We conclude that AR can modulate the growth of human pituitary tumors through direct receptor-mediated intracellular pathways which may be common to various pituitary cell types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Cell cultures
  • Gonadal steroids
  • Pituitary neoplasms
  • Steroid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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