Differential expression of prolactin receptor (PRLR) in normal and tumorous adrenal tissues: separation of cellular endocrine compartments by laser capture microdissection (LCM)

Endocr Res. 1998 Aug-Nov;24(3-4):857-62. doi: 10.3109/07435809809032697.


PRL stimulates adrenal steroidogenesis. In this study, we compared the PRLR expression in normal and tumorous adrenal tissues and investigated a potential proliferative effect of PRL in adrenal cells. mRNA expression of long and intermediate forms of PRLR was detected in both normal adrenal cortex as well as benign and malignant adrenal tumors and in the human adrenocortical carcinoma cell line NCI-H295. Molecular analysis of cells procured by LCM clearly demonstrated that PRLR mRNA is expressed in the adrenal cortex but not in the medulla. Immunostaining revealed PRLR protein in all three zones of the normal adrenal cortex. Furthermore, adrenal carcinomas and adenomas stained positive for the PRLR, while in phaeochromocytomas as in the normal adrenal medulla, no specific staining was observed. By WST-1 test, we could show that PRL (10(-7) M) decreased proliferation and viability of adrenal cells in primary cell culture suggesting that PRL is not a mitogenic factor of adrenocortical cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / cytology
  • Adrenal Cortex / metabolism
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Adrenal Glands / cytology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dissection / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lasers
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prolactin / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Prolactin / metabolism*
  • Reference Values


  • Receptors, Prolactin
  • Prolactin