Androgenic regulation of growth factor and growth factor receptor expression in the CWR22 model of prostatic adenocarcinoma.

Academic Article


  • The effects of androgen manipulation on epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor, p185erbB-2 and transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) levels were examined in prostatic adenocarcinoma. Male nude mice were inoculated with the CWR22 androgen-dependent human prostatic tumor or an androgen-independent (CWR22R) derivative. Mice with CWR22 tumors were castrated and subsequently killed at 3, 7, 21, 28 or 42 days post-castration. Other CWR22-bearing mice received s.c. testosterone pellets at 21 days post-castration and were killed 7 days later. EGF receptor, p185erbB-2 and TGF-alpha levels were examined by immuno-histochemistry. Strong EGF receptor and p185erbB-2 immunostaining was detected in CWR22 tumors from intact controls. EGF receptor immunostaining decreased by 65% to 70% at 21 to 42 days post-castration. Testosterone treatment at 21 to 28 days post-castration resulted in a 2-fold increase in EGF receptor immunostaining. p185erbB-2 immunostaining within CWR22 tumors did not decrease following castration and, in fact, was slightly increased at 7 days post-castration. The effects of castration on EGF receptor and p185erbB-2 levels were confirmed by Western blot analysis. Fewer than 10% of CWR22 tumor cells demonstrated strong TGF-alpha immunostaining, and androgen manipulation did not effect TGF-alpha immunostaining. In contrast, 30% of androgen-independent CWR22R tumor cells were strongly immunostained for TGF-alpha. Our findings indicate that EGF receptor levels, but not p185erbB-2 levels, are strongly dependent on testosterone in CWR22 tumors. The co-localization of TGF-alpha and the EGF receptor in CWR22R tumors suggests that these factors may constitute an autocrine pathway that regulates androgen-independent growth.
  • Published In


  • Adenocarcinoma, Androgens, Animals, Cell Division, Disease Models, Animal, ErbB Receptors, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Mice, Mice, Nude, Orchiectomy, Prostatic Neoplasms, Receptor, ErbB-2, Transforming Growth Factor alpha, Transplantation, Heterologous, Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Author List

  • Myers RB; Oelschlager D; Manne U; Coan PN; Weiss H; Grizzle WE
  • Start Page

  • 424
  • End Page

  • 429
  • Volume

  • 82
  • Issue

  • 3