Progesterone has been suggested to be involved in the functions of the nervous system, but it has yet to be examined in humans. Progesterone has also been postulated to be involved in the biological behavior of various human neurogenic tumors via progesterone receptors A and B (PR-A and PR-B). In this study we examined the expression of PR and the enzymes responsible for progesterone biosynthesis (P450scc, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein) in human brain. We also examined the distribution of PR isoforms in neurogenic tumors using immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR analysis. The presence of PR and mRNA for P450scc, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein was detected in human brain. PR isoforms were detected in neurogenic tumors. PR-A and PR-B were equally expressed in meningiomas, but PR-B was the predominant isoform compared with PR-A in astrocytic tumors and Schwannomas. There was a statistically significant inverse correlation between PR-A and the proliferation index in meningiomas and astrocytic tumors. These findings suggest that progesterone is locally synthesized and exerts its actions through PR in the human central nervous system, and that progesterone may be involved in regulation of the growth and development of neurogenic tumors via PR, especially in the inhibition of tumor cell proliferation via PR-A.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical