, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 265–271 | Cite as

Increased expression of growth hormone and prolactin receptors in hepatocellular carcinomas

  • Tomás García-CaballeroEmail author
  • Hichem M. Mertani
  • Anne Lambert
  • Rosalía Gallego
  • Máximo Fraga
  • Elena Pintos
  • Jerónimo Forteza
  • Michèle Chevallier
  • Peter E. Lobie
  • Barbara K. Vonderhaar
  • Andrés Beiras
  • Gérard Morel


The liver is an essential target tissue for growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL). The aim of this study was to determine the in situ expression of growth hormone receptor (GHR) and prolactin receptor (PRLR) in hepatocellular carcinomas and to compare the results with normal liver. For this purpose, in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemical techniques were performed and several tests were conducted to validate the results. By radioactive ISH, all the hepatocellular carcinomas studied showed labeling for GHR and PRLR mRNAs. Relative expression levels, determined by computer-assisted microdensity, were higher in hepatocellular carcinomas than in normal liver. Immunohistochemistry led us to confirm the constant expression of both receptor proteins in hepatocellular carcinomas and normal liver and to demonstrate their localization not only in the cytoplasm but also in the nucleus. These results confirm that the liver is a major GH and PRL target tissue and suggest that in hepatocellular carcinomas the proliferative effects of these hormones may be increased by a higher expression of their receptors.

Key Words

In situ hybridization immunohistochemistry mRNA expression hepatocyte liver 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomás García-Caballero
    • 6
    Email author
  • Hichem M. Mertani
    • 1
  • Anne Lambert
    • 1
  • Rosalía Gallego
    • 6
  • Máximo Fraga
    • 2
  • Elena Pintos
    • 2
  • Jerónimo Forteza
    • 2
  • Michèle Chevallier
    • 3
  • Peter E. Lobie
    • 4
  • Barbara K. Vonderhaar
    • 5
  • Andrés Beiras
    • 6
  • Gérard Morel
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS UMR 5578 Physiologie Energetique Cellulaire et MoléculaireUniversité Claude Bernard-Lyon IVilleurbaneFrance
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Forensic SciencesSchool of Medicine-University HospitalSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Laboratory of PathologyLaboratory Marcell MerieuxLyonFrance
  4. 4.Institute of Molecular and Cell BiologyNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  5. 5.Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and BiologyNational Cancer InstituteBethesda
  6. 6.Department of Morphological Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of SantiagoSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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