Progesterone receptor isoforms A and B in human epithelial ovarian carcinoma: Immunohistochemical and RT-PCR studies

J. Akahira, T. Inoue, T. Suzuki, K. Ito, R. Konno, S. Sato, T. Moriya, K. Okamura, A. Yajima, H. Sasano

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Human epithelial ovarian carcinoma is well-known as a sex steroid-dependent neoplasm, but the possible biological significance of progesterone receptor (PR) in this cancer remains controversial. Recently, two isoforms of human PR, PRA and PRB, have been characterized and different functional characteristics have been reported for these two isoforms. We therefore examined immunohistochemistry (107 cases) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (16 cases) for PRA, PRB, and oestrogen receptor-a (ER-a). Labeling indices (LI) for PRA and PRB were 2.4 and 43.6, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant. PRB LI, but not PRA LI, as well as performance status, stage, and residual tumour turned out to be independent prognostic factors following multivariate analysis. There was also a significant correlation between ER-a LI and PRB LI (r = 0.595, P < 0.0001), suggestive of a possible interaction between these two receptors. RT-PCR also detected the expression of PR isoform transcripts in the same pattern as was observed with immunohistochemistry. Results of these studies indicate that PRA and PRB both mediate distinct pathways of progesterone action in ovarian carcinoma. Moreover, it is important to examine PRB LI as a prognostic factor in the cases of human epithelial ovarian carcinoma. (C) 2000 Cancer Research Campaign.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1494
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ovarian cancer
  • PRA
  • PRB
  • Progesterone receptor
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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