The LNCaP-FGC (fast growing colony) cell line, a subline derived from the LNCaP cell line, shares all the main characteristics, including its androgen sensitivity, described for the parental line. A number of sublines originating from the FGC line were characterized with respect to their response to steroid-depleted medium and to the synthetic androgen R1881. The growth of FGC cells in DCC medium with 0.1 nM R1881 was stimulated 2-3-fold compared to growth in DCC medium only. FGC cells that were continuously grown in DCC medium did not die, but their growth rate was clearly slowed down, and the cells remained responsive to androgen. These cells, therefore, have the androgen-sensitive, rather than the androgen-dependent phenotype. As cells of the subline FGC-JB could not be maintained in DCC medium, these cells better represent the androgen-dependent cell type. In contrast to the FGC line, cells of the R line, grew equally well in medium with complete or DCC serum. Under none of these culture conditions, R cells could significantly be stimulated further with R1881. Further analysis of the LNCaP-FGC sublines should provide valuable information concerning the development of androgen resistance in human prostate cancer.