✓ Female sex steroid receptors were examined in 50 human cerebral meningiomas. For estrogen receptors, high-affinity binding sites (dissociation constant (Kd): 0.05 to 0.2 nM) were found in the cytosolic fraction with a capacity of less than 4 fmol/mg protein in 10 meningiomas using a dextran-coated charcoal (DCC) assay. In the same cytosolic fraction, the solid-phase enzyme immunoassay revealed only one cytosol with a positive colorimetric reaction equal to 5 fmol/mg protein. However, in the nuclear compartment, none of the tumors stained positively for estrogen receptors with immunohistochemical techniques. In addition, the most convincing evidence for the absence of estrogen receptors was obtained by in situ hybridization using an oligonucleotide probe complementary to a fraction of the human receptor messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). In none of the 50 meningiomas was the expression of estrogen mRNA coding for the estrogen receptor detected.
For progesterone receptors, high-affinity binding sites (Kd: 0.3 to 2.6 nM) were found in 49 of the 50 tumors using a DCC assay. In the same cytosols, solid-phase enzyme immunoassay revealed that each tumor was positive for progesterone receptors. However, in the nuclear compartment, only five tumors had partially positive staining for progesterone receptors with immunohistochemical techniques.
Within the confines of this study, it is concluded that: 1) the estrogen receptor is generally absent in meningioma tissue, and 2) the progesterone receptor is mainly absent in the nuclear compartment, leading to the conclusion that the cytosolic progesterone receptor may be an inactive form. This study suggests that female sex steroid receptors are not primarily involved in the proliferative rate of cerebral meningiomas and that they are of no current significance as markers for adjuvant medical therapy of most meningiomas.