Androgen receptors and hormone sensitivity of a human prostatic cancer cell line (PC-3) are modulated by natural beta-interferon

Urol Res. 1994;22(1):33-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00431546.


Androgen receptors are expressed at a low level in the cell line PC-3, which does not respond to either androgens or antiandrogens. If these cells are exposed to natural beta-interferon (beta-IFN) a reduction in cell growth and an increase in androgen receptors, evaluated by both biochemical and immunocytochemical techniques, occur. This increase seems not to be related to a selective block of PC-3 in any phase of the cell cycle. Pretreatment with beta-IFN determines in PC-3 cells a partial responsiveness to the androgen dihydrotestosterone as reflected by the increase in cell number. Moreover, the antiandrogen hydroxyflutamide shows agonistic properties by increasing the cell number of PC-3 cells pre-exposed to beta-IFN. When the antiandrogen is tested in combination with interferon, it produces a reduction in the beta-IFN-induced inhibition of cell growth. It is not known whether these unexpected effects are due to the increase in androgen receptors or to other mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Androgens / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Dihydrotestosterone / metabolism
  • Dihydrotestosterone / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Flutamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Flutamide / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interferon-beta / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Androgens
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • hydroxyflutamide
  • Flutamide
  • Interferon-beta