Androgen Receptor Expression in Relation to Apoptosis and the Expression of Cell Cycle Related Proteins in Prostate Cancer


1Department of Immunology, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2Department of Pathology, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


The expression of several genes involved in the regulation of cell cycle and apoptosis may be regulated via the androgen receptor (AR) in the prostate. AR may have a role in the prognosis of prostatic carcinoma. The aim was to examine AR expression status and its relationship with markers of proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle control in prostate cancer. Expression of AR, bcl-2, bax, Ki-67 and p53 was examined in paraffin-embedded tissues from 50 cases of prostate carcinoma by immunohistochemistry and evaluated using an index of staining. Detection of apoptotic cells was performed by TUNEL method. Correlation between AR expression and apoptosis, proliferation index, bcl-2, bax and p53 and also clinicopathological parameters including stage, pathological grade and Gleason score were determined. AR expression was observed in all cases with mean expression of 81%+/-15 and mean staining index of 141+/-65. No correlation was found between AR expression and apoptosis detected in patients. The mean AR staining index was 170+/-72 in bcl-2 positive tumors versus 120+/-53 in bcl-2 negative tumors showing a significant association between AR and bcl-2 expression (p=0.015). AR expression also showed a significant association with bcl-2/bax ratio (r=0.321, p=0.023) and Ki-67 proliferation staining index (r=0.396, p=0.004). Although a significant correlation between Ki-67 and p53 with differentiation status of the tumors was observed (p<0.004) no correlation was found with AR. AR expression showed no prognostic value regarding its correlation with stage and differentiation status of the prostate carcinoma. However, its significant correlation with Ki-67 and bcl-2 that are markers of cell survival suggest its contribution to tumor cell progression. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 10, Nr 1, 37-41, 2004

Key words: prostate carcinoma; androgen receptor; apoptosis; p53; bcl-2; bax; Ki-67

Received: Feb 12, 2004; accepted: Feb 28, 2004
Correspondence: Zahra AMIRGHOFRAN, Department of Immunology, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 71345-1798, Iran, Fax: +98-711-2304069; E-mail:

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