DHT and testosterone, but not DHEA or E2, differentially modulate IGF-I, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3 in human prostatic stromal cells

Hanh Le, Julia T. Arnold, Kimberly K. McFann, Marc R. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer is one of the four most common cancers in the United States, affecting one of six men. Increased serum levels of androgens and IGF-I are associated with an augmented risk of prostate cancer. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone (T) stimulate prostate cancer cell growth, development, and function, whereas the effects of DHT and T in prostate stromal cells, and of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in prostate cancer or stromal cells, are uncertain. We investigated the actions of DHT, T, DHEA, and estradiol (E 2) on insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-II, IGF-I receptor (R), IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-2, IGFBP-3, and IGFBP-5 in primary cultures of human prostatic stromal cells by assessing cell proliferation, mRNA expression, and protein secretion by MTT growth assay, quantitative real-time PCR, and ELISA, respectively. DHT and T each increased IGF-I (7-fold) and decreased IGFBP-3 (2-fold) mRNA expression and protein secretion in a dose- and time-dependent manner and increased IGFBP-2 (2-fold) mRNA in a dose- and time-dependent manner. DHEA and E2 did not significantly alter these measures. Flutamide abolished the DHT-modulated increases in IGF-I and IGFBP-2, suggesting that the influences of DHT and T on these measures were androgen receptor mediated. None of the four steroids significantly affected IGF-IR, IGF-II, or IGFBP-5 mRNA levels or stromal cell proliferation. The effects of DHT on IGF-I, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3 were more pronounced in stromal cultures that did not express desmin. These data suggest that DHT and T promote prostate growth partly via modulation of the stromal cell IGF axis, with potential paracrine effects on prostate epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E952-E960
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Insulin-like growth factor-I
  • Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2
  • Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3
  • Prostate stroma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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