Androgen receptors in osteoblast-like cell lines

Eric S. Orwoll, Lenka Stribrska, Elizabeth E. Ramsey, Edward J. Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Although androgens exert major effects on bone remodeling, the mechanisms by which they exert their effects remain unclear. Recently, it has become apparent that receptors for sex steroids may be present in osteoblastic cells. We have examined several cell lines with osteoblastic phenotypes to determine if specific, high affinity androgen receptors are present. Two cell lines of human origin (Saos-2 and U2-OS) and one of rat origin (UMR-106.01) were studied. Androgen binding sites were present in all cell lines. Binding affinities were high (KD=1.6-2.5×10-10 M), and similar to those in classical androgen target tissues (prostate, kidney). Concentrations were greater in the human cell lines (1277 and 1605 sites/cell) than in the rodent line (74 sites/cell). In the human cell lines androgen binding was also specific and typical of androgen receptors in other tissues. Specific estrogen binding was not present in the UMR-106.01 cells, and no estrogen receptors were detectable in the human cell lines using an enzyme-linked receptor immunoassay. Specific binding for progesterone was also absent in the UMR-106.01 cells, but progesterone receptors were detected immunologically in the Saos-2 (119 sites/cell) and U2-OS (118 sites/cell) lines. These findings indicate the presence of androgen receptors that are of similar character to those in classical androgen target tissues, and suggest that the study of these cell lines may be useful in the study of the regulation of androgen effects in osteoblasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1991


  • Androgen
  • Estrogen
  • Osteoblast
  • Receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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