Expression of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) and its involvement in cellular proliferation is well-known in tumors of neuronal tissue, such as glioma and neuroblastoma. We have investigated NMDAr expression in the normal, hyperplastic and neoplastic human prostate by immunohistochemistry. Low stromal NMDAr immunostaining was observed in 2 of 12 (17%) normal prostate specimens, but epithelial NMDAr staining was not seen. Of 18 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) specimens, none had stromal NMDAr staining, but 2 had low and 1 had high epithelial NMDAr immunoreactivity. Moderate to high NMDAr immunostaining was observed in the stroma of 60 of 145 (41%) prostate cancer (PCa) specimens. Epithelial NMDAr staining was low in 26 (18%) and moderate to high in 36 (25%) of 145 PCa specimens. We have also examined the effects of the NMDAr antagonist memantine on the growth of ten human cancer cell lines: four prostate, two breast and four colon. The NMDAr antagonist memantine inhibited in-vitro growth of all ten cell lines, with half-maximal growth-inhibition at 5 to 20 μg/ml (23 to 92 μM) memantine. An NMDA agonist, L-cysteinesulfinic acid, stimulated cellular proliferation of all ten cell lines, with maximal growth-stimulation (30% to 75%, depending on the cell line) observed between doses of 33 to 66 μM. Our data provide evidence for the expression and activity of NMDAr in prostate cancer.
NMDA Memantine L-Cysteinesulfinic acid Cancer Prostate Breast Colon