Inhibition of 5α-Reductase in Rat Prostate Reveals Differential Regulation of Androgen-Response Gene Expression by Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone
The growth and development of some of the male sex accessory organs such as the prostate requires the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by 5α-reductase. To provide insights into the role of testosterone versus DHT in the prostate, we studied the impact of finasteride, a potent and specific inhibitor of 5α-reductase, on the expression of prostatic androgen-response genes in testis-intact rats and in 7-day castrated rats. Finasteride inhibition of the conversion of testosterone to DHT was confirmed by measuring serum and intraprostatic androgens. As expected, finasteride treatment caused a reduction in the wet weight of the prostate in the testis-intact rats and inhibited the testosterone-stimulated prostatic regrowth in the 7-day castrated rats. Although finasteride treatment had little or no effect on the expression of the surveyed androgen-response genes in testis-intact rats, its administration enhanced the expression of many androgen-response genes during the testosterone-stimulated regrowth of the regressed prostate in castrated rats. These observations suggest that testosterone is more potent than DHT in stimulating the expression of many androgen-response genes in the regressed prostate. The expression of androgen-response genes is mainly prostate specific and thus is likely to be associated with androgen-dependent prostatic differentiation. Therefore, testosterone is more potent than DHT in inducing differentiation and weaker in stimulating proliferation during prostate regrowth. The fact that testosterone is a strong inducer of prostatic differentiation has potential clinical implications.
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
genes Testosterone Dihydrotestosterone
Document Type: Research Article
‡Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611
*Department of Urology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611
¶Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611
Publication date: April 1, 2001
More about this publication?
Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.