Cancer of the salivary gland is one of the common cancers in the head and the neck regions. This type of cancer develops in the minor and the major salivary glands, and it sometimes metastasizes to other organs, particularly the lung. Morphologic mimicry and similarity in the expression of steroid hormone receptors between salivary gland tumors (SGTs) and breast tumors are well-known phenomena and are occasionally debated in the field of surgical pathology. Progesterone (Pg), one of the female sex steroid hormone, is intimately involved in the development of the mammary gland. Further, it is believed that Pg plays a role in breast cancer progression. However, little is known regarding its role in SGTs. In this study, we used ACCM, a human adenoid cystic carcinoma cell line established from the salivary gland, in order to clarify the role of the Pg receptor (PR) on cell proliferation. No effect of Pg on cell proliferation was observed in the PR-deficient aggressive ACCM cells. However, after introducing PR into the ACCM cells, Pg markedly inhibited the proliferative activity of the cells. This inhibitory effect on cell proliferation was accompanied by p21 upregulation, and Id1 and c-myc downregulation. Moreover, Pg-treated PR transfectants showed significant morphological change; they appeared more flattened and spread out when compared with the ethanol-treated control cells. Our results provided significant insights into the mechanism of suppression of the proliferative property of the cells via the function of PR, and suggested that PR reintroduction therapy might be a viable method of inhibiting human SGT progression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cancer Research