Neurotensin is an autocrine trophic factor stimulated by androgen withdrawal in human prostate cancer

Inder Sehgal, Stephen Powers, Brenda Huntley, Garth Powis, Mark Pittelkow, Nita J. Maihle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Scopus citations


After therapeutic hormone deprivation, prostate cancer cells often develop androgen-insensitive growth through mechanisms thus far undefined. Neuropeptides have been previously implicated as growth factors in some prostate cancers. Here, we demonstrate that androgen-sensitive LNCaP human prostate cancer cells produce and secrete neurotensin following androgen withdrawal. We show that while LNCaP cells express the neurotensin receptor, only androgen-deprived cells exhibit a growth response to exogenous neurotensin. We further demonstrate that androgen-stimulated cells may be refractory to exogenous neurotensin due to androgen induction of a metalloprotease active toward neurotensin. Thus, prostate cancer cells deprived of androgen develop an alternative autocrine growth mechanism involving neurotensin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4673-4677
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - May 24 1994



  • growth factor
  • neuroendocrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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