Autocrine stimulation by prolactin of hormone-responsive breast cancer growth in culture

Andrea Manni, Michel Pontari, Carol Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Evidence obtained in human breast cancer cell lines in culture suggests that estradiol stimulates the synthesis of secretory proteins which may, in turn, mediate its mitogenic effect. We questioned whether a similar mechanism could mediate the growth-promoting effect of PRL in the N-nitrosomethylurea-induced rat mammary tumor grown in soft agar, where PRL exerts a dose-dependent colony-stimulating effect. Conditioned medium obtained from PRL-treated tumors, but not from control tumors, was found to exert a significant dosedependent colony-stimulating effect when added to N-nitrosomethylurea-induced mammary tumors plated in soft agar under serum-free medium conditions. The growth-promoting action of conditioned medium from PRL-treated tumors was abolished by pretreatment with heat, trypsin, and Concanavalin-A, suggesting the possible glycoprotein nature of the oPRL-induced growth factor(s). These results provide support for the novel hypothesis that estradiol and PRL may support the growth of hormoneresponsive breast cancer through a similar mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2040-2043
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology


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