Estrogen Modulation of Human Breast Cancer Cell Growth

  • Published : 1997.12.01


To gain further insight into how estrogens modulate cell function, the effects of estrogen on cell proliferation were studied inhuman breast cancer cells. We examined the effects of estrogen on the proliferation of three human breast cancer cell lines that differed in their estrogen receptor contents. Ten nM estradiol markedly stimulated the proliferation of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells that contained high levels of estrogen receptor $1.15{\pm}0.03 pmole/mg protein)$(over that of control. In T47D cells that contained low levels of estrogen receptor $0.23{\pm}0.05 pmole/mg protein)$, Ten nM estrogen slightly stimulated the proliferation over that of control. MDA-MB-231 cells, that contained no detectable levels of estrogen receptors, had their growth unaffected by estrogen. These results showed their sensitivity to growth stimulation by estrogen correlated well with their estrogen receptor content. Also we examined the effect of estrogen on cellular progesterone receptor level as well as plasminogen activator activity in MCF-7 cells. Ten nM estradiol showed maximal stimulation of progesterone receptor level as well as plasminogen activator activity in MCF-7 cells. It is not clear whether these stimulations of progesterone receptor and plasminogen activator activity by estrogen are related to the estrogen stimulation of cell proliferation of MCF-7 cells. Studies with estrogen in human breast cancer cells in culture indicate that sensitivity to growth stimulation by estrogen correlates well with estrogen receptor contents.


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