Progesteron receptor expression in insulin producing cells of neuroendocrine neoplasms

Tomoyoshi Tachibana, Atsuko Kasajima, Takeshi Aoki, Tomoaki Tabata, Keely McNamara, Samaneh Yazdani, Sato Satoko, Fumiyoshi Fujishima, Fuyuhiko Motoi, Michiaki Unno, Hironobu Sasano

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Progesterone receptor (PgR) inhibits cell proliferation in pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PanNEN). In non-neoplastic pancreas, loss of PgR induces β-cell proliferation and insulin production. However, detailed association between PgR and insulin producing PanNENs is poorly understood. Insulin, proinsulin, and PgR were immunolocalized in 82 PanNENs (54 non-functioning PanNENs: NF-PanNENs and 28 insulinomas). The status of immunoreactivity was compared to the clinicopathological factors of the patients. Immunoreactivity was also confirmed by employing the double-immunohistochemistry. These results were also compared with those in non-neoplastic Langerhans islets. PgR immunoreactivity was significantly higher in insulinomas than that in NF-PanNENs (p < 0.001). Insulin and proinsulin immunoreactivity was also detected in 20 (37 %) of (single cell) insulin positive NFs (Inspos-NF-PanNEN), in which PgR expression was higher than in insulin negative NF-PanNENs (Insneg-NF-PanNEN, p = 0.03). The ratio of PgR-insulin double positive cells to overall insulin positive cells, as well as PgR-proinsulin double positive cells to proinsulin positive cells, was detected to the same degree in insulinoma (PgR-insulin 70 %, PgR-proinsulin 66 %), Inspos-NF-PanNENs (PgR-insulin 65 %, PgR-proinsulin 68 %) and normal islet (PgR-insulin 80 %, PgR-proinsulin 72 %). PgR and insulin expressing cells colocalize in tumor cells of the PanNENs regardless of the hormone-related symptoms of the patients. Inhibitory effect of PgR on tumor cells might be associated with the favourable clinical outcome of insulinoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105694
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul


  • Insulinoma
  • Neuroendocrine neoplasm
  • Progesteron receptor


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