Do neuroendocrine cells in human prostate cancer express androgen receptor?

Histochemistry. 1993 Nov;100(5):393-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00268938.


The presence of androgen receptors (AR) in neuroendocrine cells was investigated in benign tissue of 10 prostatectomy specimens, in 12 prostatic adenocarcinomas with focal neuroendocrine differentiation and in 1 case of a pure neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma of the prostate. Neuroendocrine cells were defined by their reactivity with an antibody to chromogranin A. Monoclonal antibody F39.4 directed against the amino-terminal domain of the AR molecule was used to detect AR. AR and chromogranin A were simultaneously visualized with a double immunofluorescence technique. The results indicate that chromogranin positive cells in both benign and malignant prostatic tissue lack detectable expression of AR. No effect of endocrine therapy was noted. These results are in agreement with the hypothesis that prostatic neuroendocrine tumour cells represent an androgen insensitive cell population, which incidentally may expand to replace the androgen-sensitive tumour cell population during androgen ablation therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies
  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neurosecretory Systems / cytology*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / ultrastructure
  • Prostate / ultrastructure
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ultrastructure*
  • Receptors, Androgen / analysis
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology*


  • Antibodies
  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins
  • Receptors, Androgen