Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Endocrinol. 2002 Mar;146(3):447-56.

Down-regulation of proliferation and up-regulation of apoptosis by gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist in cultured uterine leiomyoma cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.



To elucidate the direct effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) on the growth of human uterine leiomyoma cells, cell proliferation and apoptosis in cultured leiomyoma cells treated with GnRHa were investigated.


Isolated leiomyoma cells were subcultured in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS for 5 days and stepped down to serum-free conditions for an additional 6 days in the presence or absence of graded concentrations of GnRHa (10(-9) mol/l to 10(-12) mol/l). The effects of GnRHa on the number of viable cells, expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), Fas and Fas ligand, and apoptosis in cultured leiomyoma cells were examined by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrasodium bromide) assay, immunocytochemical analysis, Western blot analysis and TUNEL assay respectively. RT-PCR was performed to detect the expression of GnRH receptor mRNA in cultured leiomyoma cells.


Treatment with GnRHa resulted in a decrease in the number of cultured viable leiomyoma cells assessed by MTT assay in a dose-dependent manner compared with that in control cultures (P<0.01). The growth inhibition of cultured leiomyoma cells treated with GnRHa in concentrations higher than 10(-10) mol/l was associated with the suppression of the proliferative potential characterized by a decrease in PCNA-positive rate of the cultured cells (P<0.01) and an increase in the apoptosis-positive rate assessed by TUNEL assay (P<0.05 and P<0.01). GnRHa markedly increased the expression of Fas and induced the expression of Fas ligand in the cultured leiomyoma cells on the basis of Western blot analysis. These direct effects of GnRHa on the number of viable cultured leiomyoma cells, PCNA-positive rate, apoptosis-positive rate and Fas/Fas ligand expression in the cultured leiomyoma cells were only attained after the 4-day treatment. RT-PCR analysis revealed that GnRH receptor mRNA was expressed in cultured leiomyoma cells.


The present results demonstrate that GnRHa directly inhibits the growth of human uterine leiomyoma cells by suppressing cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis, which might be associated with the increase in Fas expression and the induction of Fas ligand expression in the cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk