Cell-based evidence regarding the role of FSH in prostate cancer

Nishtman Dizeyi, Dorota Trzybulska, Yahia Al-Jebari, Ilpo Huhtaniemi, Yvonne Lundberg Giwercman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Conversion of androgen-responsive prostate cancer (CaP) to castration-resistant CaP) is associated with an acceleration of the disease that often requires treatment modalities other than androgen deprivation therapy only. Recently, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) has been shown to play a role in CaP growth, and clinical data showed that high serum concentration of FSH in chemically castrated CaP patients was associated with a shorter time of progression to castration-resistant CaP. In this study, we sought to investigate if FSH could have direct effects on CaP cells, possibly through the androgen receptor and androgen receptor regulated genes, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Materials and methods: The human CaP cell lines PC-3, LNCaP and C4-2, and nonmalignant PNT1A cells, were utilized to investigate the effects of FSH. qPCR, Western blotting analysis, and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymetoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H tetrazolium assays were performed in order to analyze the FSH effects. Results: The FSH receptor was present in all cell lines except PNT1A. FSH significantly increased PSA mRNA (P < 0.01) and protein (P < 0.03) levels in C4-2 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In LNCaP cells, FSH also increased PSA protein level, although to a lesser extent than in C4-2 cells, and the expression was reduced by the antiandrogen enzalutamide. In PC-3 cells, FSH was shown to increase their proliferation (P < 0.03) and β-catenin expression. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that FSH may have a direct effect in CaP in an androgen-depleted environment. However, further research is needed to understand the significance of direct FSH action in the maintenance of CaP growth at the different phases of transition from androgen dependence to androgen independence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290.e1-290.e8
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number4
Early online date2019 Jan 2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer and Oncology

Free keywords

  • Castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • Signaling pathway


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