Korean J Parasitol.  2016 Apr;54(2):123-132. 10.3347/kjp.2016.54.2.123.

Inflammatory Responses in a Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Epithelial Cell Line (BPH-1) Infected with Trichomonas vaginalis

  • 1Department of Environmental Biology and Medical Parasitology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul 04763, Korea. jsryu@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Biomedical Science, Hanyang University Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Seoul 04763, Korea.


Trichomonas vaginalis causes the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Trichomonads have been detected in prostatic tissues from prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer. Chronic prostatic inflammation is known as a risk factor for prostate enlargement, benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, and acute urinary retention. Our aim was to investigate whether T. vaginalis could induce inflammatory responses in cells of a benign prostatic hyperplasia epithelial cell line (BPH-1). When BPH-1 cells were infected with T. vaginalis, the protein and mRNA of inflammatory cytokines, such as CXCL8, CCL2, IL-1β, and IL-6, were increased. The activities of TLR4, ROS, MAPK, JAK2/STAT3, and NF-κB were also increased, whereas inhibitors of ROS, MAPK, PI3K, NF-κB, and anti-TLR4 antibody decreased the production of the 4 cytokines although the extent of inhibition differed. However, a JAK2 inhibitor inhibited only IL-6 production. Culture supernatants of the BPH-1 cells that had been incubated with live T. vaginalis (trichomonad-conditioned medium, TCM) contained the 4 cytokines and induced the migration of human monocytes (THP-1 cells) and mast cells (HMC-1 cells). TCM conditioned by BPH-1 cells pretreated with NF-κB inhibitor showed decreased levels of cytokines and induced less migration. Therefore, it is suggested that these cytokines are involved in migration of inflammatory cells. These results suggest that T. vaginalis infection of BPH patients may cause inflammation, which may induce lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).


Trichomonas vaginalis; benign prostatic hyperplasia epithelial cell (BPH-1); inflammatory response
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