We established a new squamous cell carcinoma cell line, designated RSS18, from a 7,12-dimethyl-benz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced submandibular gland of the female rat, and investigated a testosterone metabolism in the cells. During 6 h incubation of RSS18 cells with testosterone as a substrate, the cells produced a significant amount of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and three kinds of minor metabolites, and their percentages metabolized against total metabolites were in descending order of DHT (89 %) > 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol (9.0 %) > 5alpha-androstanedione(1.6%) > 4-androstene-3,17-dione (0.69%). Therefore, testosterone in RSS18 cells was predominantly converted to DHT by 5alpha-reductase. Growth of RSS18 cells was stimulated by DHT (10(-11)-10(-9) M) to around 170%. By reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, the androgen receptor mRNA was significantly detected in RSS18 cells. As a result of these findings, DHT production from testosterone and expression of androgen receptor mRNA, we concluded that RSS18 proliferation may be stimulated by DHT through 5alpha-reductase from testosterone.