Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 436–441 | Cite as

Progesterone receptors are expressed in human osteoblast-like cell lines and in primary human osteoblast cultures

  • P. MacNamara
  • C. O'Shaughnessy
  • P. Manduca
  • H. C. Loughrey


Expression of progesterone receptors (PR) was studied in human osteoblast-like cell lines and primary human osteoblast cultures at the molecular level. Using the sensitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and oligonucleotide primers which flank the progesterone-binding domain of human PR, progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA was detected in three osteoblast-like cell lines-HOS-TE85, MG-63, and SAOS-2. When compared with β-actin gene expression, levels of PRmRNA transcripts varied between cell lines (PRmRNA in HOS-TE85>MG-63 ≫ SAOS-2). In addition, RT-PCR confirmed the presence of PRmRNA transcripts in primary human osteoblast cells cultured from collagenase-treated bone. Immunostaining was used to visualize PR protein in cells. All osteoblast-like cell lines showed specific staining for PR. Immunoreactivity was distributed equally in the nucleus and cytoplasm. The level of staining was significantly lower than that detected in PR-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells though well above background levels obtained for PR-negative HeLa cells. The finding that PR is expressed at both the level of mRNA and protein in several osteoblast-like cell lines as well as in human primary osteoblast cultures indicates that bone-forming osteoblast cells are direct targets for progesterone action.

Key words

Human osteoblast Progesterone receptor Osteoporosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. MacNamara
    • 1
  • C. O'Shaughnessy
    • 1
  • P. Manduca
    • 2
  • H. C. Loughrey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity College GalwayGalwayIreland
  2. 2.Istituto di Fisiologia GeneticaFacolta di Scienze, M.F.N.GenoaItaly

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