Korean J Urol.  2006 Dec;47(12):1289-1293. 10.4111/kju.2006.47.12.1289.

The Antihyperplastic Effect of Oral Catechin Ingestion in a Rat Model of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

  • 1Department of Urology, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. cyh0831@catholic. ac.kr


Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is one of the common diseases in elderly men. Recently, the old-aged population has increased, with the interest in the clinical importance of BPH ever growing. Catechin, an extract of green tea, has the effect of the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Typically, BPH has been shown to be influenced by 5-alpha reductase. Therefore, the relationship between BPH and catechin was evaluated.
An experimental prostatic hyperplasia was induced in male Wistar rats by the administration of testosterone propionate, 3mg/kg sc, for 4 weeks. The Wistar rats were divided into four experimental groups: the control, BPH-induced, oral finasteride ingestion and oral catechin ingestion groups. After 4 weeks, the prostates were removed, and analyzed for their prostatic weight and histological examination.
The prostate weights were measured in each group, and found to be 330.0+/-40.7, 970.0+/-1.1, 358.0+/-39.9 and 415.0+/-45.3mg in the control, BPH-induced, oral finasteride ingestion and oral catechin ingestion groups, respectively. The oral finasteride and catechin ingestion groups showed statistically significant decreases in their prostatic weights compared with the BPH-induced group (p<0.05), but with no significant difference between the oral finasteride and catechin ingestion groups (p>0.05). Histologically injected testosterone lead to prostatic hyperplasia in rats, but oral catechin ingestion decreased this change.
These results suggest that catechin may be effective in BPH, and the consumption of green tea may be effective in preventing BPH.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia; Catechin; Testosterone; 5 alpha-reductase

MeSH Terms

Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase
Models, Animal*
Prostatic Hyperplasia*
Rats, Wistar
Testosterone Propionate
Weights and Measures
Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase
Testosterone Propionate


  • Fig. 1 The mean weight of the specimen of the prostate in the rat model of benign prostatic hyperplasia, 4 weeks after the testosterone injection and in control group. (A) Control group, (B) testosterone injection group, (C) oral finasteride group, (D) oral catechin group. *: significantly different from B group (p<0.05), †: significantly different from B group (p<0.05).

  • Fig. 2 Histologic findings from specimen of the prostate in the rat model of benign prostatic hyperplasia, 4 weeks after the testosterone injection and in the control group. (A) Secretory luminal cells, lined with a single layer of low columnar epithelium, and the acinus filled with pale eosinophilic material in the control rat (H&E, ×200). (B) Epithelial cell hyperplasia and fibrovascular stromal thickening (prostatic hyperplasia) in the testosterone injected rat (H&E, ×400). (C) Restricted proliferation of epithelial cells and the absence of stromal connective tissue proliferation in the finasteride treated rat (H&E, ×400). (D) Restricted proliferation of epithelial cells and the absence of stromal connective tissue proliferation in the catechin treated rat. Note the normal low columnar epithelium (H&E, ×200).

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