Parathyroid hormone-related peptide is a regulatory protein implicated in the pathogenesis of bone metastases, particularly in breast carcinoma. Parathyroid hormone-related peptide is widely expressed in primary prostate cancers but there are few reports of its expression in prostatic metastases. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and its receptor in matched primary and in bone metastatic tissue from patients with untreated adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Eight-millimetre trephine iliac crest bone biopsies containing metastatic prostate cancer were obtained from 14 patients from whom matched primary tumour tissue was also available. Histological grading was performed by an independent pathologist. The cellular location of mRNA for parathyroid hormone-related peptide and parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor was identified using in situ hybridization with (35)S-labelled probe. Expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and its receptor was described as uniform, heterogenous or negative within the tumour cell population. Parathyroid hormone-related peptide expression was positive in 13 out of 14 primary tumours and in all 14 metastases. Receptor expression was evident in all 14 primaries and 12 out of 14 metastases. Co-expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor was common (13 primary tumours, 12 metastases). The co-expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and its receptor suggest that autocrine parathyroid hormone-related peptide mediated stimulation may be a mechanism of escape from normal growth regulatory pathways. The high frequency of parathyroid hormone-related peptide expression in metastases is consistent with a role in the pathogenesis of bone metastases.
Copyright 2002 The Cancer Research Campaign