Korean J Urol.  2003 Mar;44(3):267-271.

Expression of Neuroendocrine Cells in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and the Effect of Dihydrotestosterone

  • 1Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, 1Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. sjhong346@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Bioanalysis and Biotransformation Research Center, Korea Institute of Science, Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE: Neuroendocrine (NE) cells of the prostate are considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). By a comparative analysis of NE cell density in BPH tissue of men who were either exposed to or not exposed to 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, we investigated the relationship between NE cells and BPH, and the effect of androgen deprivation on NE cells.
Prostate tissue specimens, obtained from 30 men by transurethral resection of the prostate or radical cystoprostatectomy, were used. Of the 30 patients, 10 had a prostate smaller than 25 ml (normal control), the other 20 had a prostate larger than 40ml, 10 of who had taken 5alpha-reductase inhibitor (finasteride) for 3 months before surgery (androgen blockade group), and 10 who had not (BPH group). The distribution of NE cells in the prostate was examined using the anti-chromogranin A (CgA) antibody, and the density of the CgA-positive cells was compared by an optical dissector method. Immunoblotting was performed using the neuron specific enolase (NSE) antibody. A Mann-Whitney U test was used in a statistical analysis.
Most of the CgA-positive NE cells were localized between the acinar epithelial cells. The mean numbers of CgA-positive NE cells per acinus in the normal controls and the BPH groups were 1.67+/-0.78 and 4.45+/-2.54, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). However, the mean number of CgA-positive NE cells in the androgen blockade group, was 4.93+/-2.17, which was similar to the BPH group. In a NSE immunoblotting study, a distinct band was observed in the BPH and androgen blockade groups, but the density of the band was higher in the androgen blockade group.
Our results suggest that NE cells may be involved in the hyperplastic process of BPH. Inhibition of dihydrotestosterone, caused by the oral administration of the 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, failed to induce any significant change in the NE cells, probably due to the incomplete androgen blockade.


Neuroendocrine cells; Benign prostatic hyperplasia; 5alpha-reductase inhibitor

MeSH Terms

Administration, Oral
Cell Count
Epithelial Cells
Neuroendocrine Cells*
Phosphopyruvate Hydratase
Prostatic Hyperplasia*
Phosphopyruvate Hydratase
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