Estradiol (E2) is known to act synergistically with testosterone (T) for the development of prostatic hyperplasia in rats and dogs, but murine prostate is less responsive to hormonal stimulation. However, a recent study revealed that the combined administration of E2 and T induced prostatic hyperplasia with bladder outlet obstruction in C57BL mice. To understand the mechanisms underlying the hormonal induction of prostatic hyperplasia, the expression of growth factors and their receptors, androgen receptor, estrogen receptor (ER), and prostatic secretory proteins was investigated. Ten-week-old male C57BL mice were treated with T (30 mg) or T + E2 (0.5 mg) for 10 weeks, and prostatic lobes were dissected and subjected to quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting analysis. T administration appeared to induce glandular prostatic growth, while with T + E2 administration this growth was greater and accompanied by extreme bladder enlargement. The expression of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) mRNA and protein was increased in prostate tissue in the T group. The combined administration of E2 with T prominently enhanced PSCA expression, along with increased insulin growth factor 1 mRNA levels and decreased estrogen receptor β mRNA expression. The synergistic effect of E2 on the expression of PSCA suggests that this protein may play an important role in the hormone-induced development of prostatic hyperplasia.
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