Müllerian inhibiting substance/anti-Müllerian hormone: A novel treatment for gynecologic tumors

Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2014 Sep;57(5):343-57. doi: 10.5468/ogs.2014.57.5.343. Epub 2014 Sep 17.


Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS), also called anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), is a member of the transforming growth factor-β super-family of growth and differentiation response modifiers. It is produced in immature Sertoli cells in male embryos and binds to MIS/AMH receptors in primordial Müllerian ducts to cause regression of female reproductive structures that are the precursors to the fallopian tubes, the surface epithelium of the ovaries, the uterus, the cervix, and the upper third of the vagina. Because most gynecologic tumors originate from Müllerian duct-derived tissues, and since MIS/AMH causes regression of the Müllerian duct in male embryos, it is expected to inhibit the growth of gynecologic tumors. Purified recombinant human MIS/AMH causes growth inhibition of epithelial ovarian cancer cells and cell lines in vitro and in vitro via MIS receptor-mediated mechanism. Furthermore, several lines of evidence suggest that MIS/AMH inhibits proliferation in tissues and cell lines of other MIS/AMH receptor-expressing gynecologic tumors such as cervical, endometrial, breast, and in endometriosis as well. These findings indicate that bioactive MIS/AMH recombinant protein should be tested in patients against tumors expressing the MIS/AMH receptor complex, perhaps beginning with ovarian cancer because it has the worst prognosis. The molecular tools to identify MIS/AMH receptor expressing ovarian and other cancers are in place, thus, it is possible to select patients for treatment. An MIS/AMH ELISA exists to follow administered doses of MIS/AMH, as well. Clinical trials await the production of sufficient supplies of qualified recombinant human MIS/AMH for this purpose.

Keywords: Anti-Mullerian hormone; Mullerian inhibiting substance; Mullerian inhibiting substance type II receptor; Mullerian tumor; Ovarian neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Review