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The purpose of this study was to establish the eventual presence of progesterone receptor (PGR) and oestrogen receptor (EGR) in human middle-ear cholesteatoma (MECh) tissues and to compare their expression between male and female patients. An immunohistochemical technique was employed for detection of PGR- and EGR-specific immunoreactivity in MECh samples using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections. The positive results were verified with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The morphological study revealed stable expression of PGR in suprabasal layers of all cholesteatoma samples. Weaker immunoreactivity for PGR was demonstrated in external auditory canal skin (EACS) samples in comparison with MECh, while PGR-specific staining was not observed in retroauricular skin (RAS) samples. EGR was detected only at mRNA levels. Stronger expression of EGR PCR products was disclosed in female cholesteatoma samples, while PGR mRNA was predominantly detected in male cholesteatoma specimens. Our preliminary experimental results give us ground to assume that female sex hormones may stimulate proliferation and affect differentiation of MECh keratinocytes.
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