Oxytocin: its role in the benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) via the ERK pathway

To evaluate the oxytocin and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and study the cell signaling mechanism.

Investigation was performed in patients about the correlation between oxytocin level and BPH. Mice were injected with oxytocin or oxytocin antagonist for two weeks and the prostate morphology was studied after sacrifice. Furthermore, in-vitro experiments were performed to evaluate the oxytocin effect through MEK-ERK-RSK pathway.

Oxytocin was significantly elevated in the serum and prostate tissue of BPH patients and a positive correlation with the prostate volume was indicated. In the animal experiments, prostate enlargement was observed in the oxytocin-treated group, while oxytocin antagonist reduced the prostate hyperplasia. The in vitro study confirmed this result and also revealed the activation of MEK-ERK-RSK pathway.

Oxytocin is highly expressed in the serum and prostate tissue of BPH patients. Additionally, oxytocin aggravates BPH and the oxytocin-induced proliferative effect on prostatic cells is mediated through MEK-ERK-RSK pathway, at least partly. Thus, hypothalamic regulation may be involved in BPH development, which may open a novel door for more medications for BPH in the future.

Clinical science (London, England : 1979). 2017 Jan 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Huan Xu, Shi Fu, Yanbo Chen, Qi Chen, Meng Gu, Chong Liu, Zhiguang Qiao, Juan Zhou, Zhong Wang

Department of Urology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai, China., Shanghai Key Laboratory of Orthopaedic Implants, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine., Shanghai, China., Department of Urology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai, China .