Effects of low testosterone levels and of adrenal androgens on growth of prostate tumor models in nude mice

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1990 Dec 20;37(6):903-7. doi: 10.1016/0960-0760(90)90441-m.


Two transplantable, androgen dependent prostate tumor models of human origin, PC-82 and PC-EW, were used to study the effect of low androgen levels and adrenal androgens on prostate tumor cell proliferation. Tumor load of the PC-82 and PC-EW tumors could be maintained constant when plasma testosterone levels were 0.8 and 0.9 nmol/l, respectively, corresponding with an intratissue 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone level of 3-4 pmol/g tissue. This critical androgen level for prostate tumor growth stimulation amounted to 2-3 times the castration level and proved to be similar for both tumor models. Relatively high levels of androstenedione resulted in physiological levels of plasma testosterone causing androgen concentrations in PC-82 tumor tissue exceeding the critical level for tumor growth. These results indicate that submaximal suppression of androgens can stop tumor growth in these prostate tumor models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / metabolism*
  • Dihydrotestosterone / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone