Dihydrotestosterone affects the growth of hormone-unresponsive breast cancer cells: an indirect action

Anticancer Res. Nov-Dec 1995;15(6B):2581-4.


Cell to cell interaction, which plays a crucial role in breast cancer growth, may be regulated by steroid hormones. This study examined dihydrotestosterone (DHT) effects on the interaction between the steroid receptor positive MCF-7 and the steroid receptor negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. The growth of MDA-MB-231 cells was inhibited by medium conditioned by MCF-7 cells grown in presence of DHT but not by medium conditioned by MCF-7 cells grown in presence of both DHT and the antiandrogen hydroxyflutamide. Trypsin pretreatment of conditioned medium abolished its growth-inhibitory effect on hormone-unresponsive cells. DHT itself did not affect the growth of MDA-MB-231 cells when directly added to their culture medium. Data suggest that DHT stimulates, via the androgen receptor, the androgen-responsive breast cancer cells to produce a peptide factor(s) capable of inhibiting the growth of hormone-unresponsive cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Androgen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Androgens*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / pharmacology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Dihydrotestosterone / pharmacology*
  • Estrogens*
  • Female
  • Flutamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Flutamide / pharmacology
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / drug effects
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology*
  • Progesterone*
  • Receptors, Androgen / drug effects


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Androgens
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Estrogens
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • hydroxyflutamide
  • Progesterone
  • Flutamide