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Keywords:

  • androgen receptors;
  • biopsy;
  • liver

ABSTRACT— The liver is a steroid-responsive organ and contains high levels of androgen receptors (AR). The present study investigated cytosolic AR concentrations in diseased human liver obtained by needle biopsy. Insufficient tissue was available for full Scatchard analysis. Previous studies have shown the binding affinity of the liver AR to be sufficiently constant to allow the use of a single saturating dose analysis, using 3Hmibolerone as the active ligand, for the estimation of binding sites. Thirteen samples were studied and compared to normal liver. AR was identified in all samples and the level negatively correlated to the degree of liver damage. A role for AR in hepatocellular carcinoma has been postulated and anti-androgens used in treatment. This study shows AR can be measured in needle-biopsy specimens and, if hepatocellular carcinoma is proven to be hormone sensitive, then this technique may help in the assessment of such tumours.