The prostate hosts an important amount of neuroendocrine cells which origin and functional role need to be better addressed. These cells synthesize and deliver a number of neurosecretory substances (serotonin, neuropeptides) having regulative activities over growth, cell differentiation, and secretion and might have a remarkable influence in the development of prostatic proliferative disorders such as hyperplasia or cancer. Moreover, the autonomous nervous system seems to be relevant in the maintenance of structural and functional integrity of the prostate, a wide variety of peptidergic fibres has been described in the prostate gland; such as neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) nerves, etc. There is evidence about morphologic and functional relationships between neuroendocrine cells and prostate nerve fibres, resulting in a neuro-hormonal system that might modulate the androgenic action on the prostate.
Using immunohistochemistry and stereologic quantification, the authors of the present study deal with the demonstration that the neuroendocrine cells population from transition zone of the human prostate was greater than in both central and peripheral regions, and this can be put in relation to the genesis of BPH. Furthermore, they observed that the neuroendocrine cells and the peptidergic innervation of rat prostate might be influenced by aging and androgenic status. Other factors, as pharmacological castration, or prolactin action, might be also modulate the neuroendocrine-peptidergic system. The prostate hosts neuroendocrine cells whose origin and functional roles warrant better understanding. These cells synthesize and deliver a number of neurosecretory substances having regulative activities over growth, cell differentiation, and secretion, and might influence the development of proliferative disorders such as hyperplasia or cancer. This study demonstrates that the neuroendocrine cell population from the transition zone of the human prostate was greater than in both central and peripheral regions.
1 Introduction The prostate causes a signi?cant number of medical problems in the adult male, and the lower urinary tract symptoms are accepted as an unavoidable consequence of male aging. Most of these symptoms are mainly due to clinical benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is the most frequent benign tumor in the male, in- pendent of race or culture. On the other hand, cancer of the prostate shows an increasing incidence, being the second leading cause of death in men, after lung cancer. It has an etiology related to multiple factors: age, race, androgen dep- dence, chemical agents, diet, etc. Both pathologies are very costly in terms of medical resources, and they s- ni?cantly diminish quality of life. More than 400,000 prostate resections per year are done in the US, and these result in an approximate cost of 5 billion dollars per year. Because of all these circumstances, a better knowledge of the mechanisms regulating normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic prostate growth is important for treatment and prevention of BPH and prostate cancer. Since the last review about prostate neuroendocrine cells published in 1998 there have been new and exciting developments relating to these cells in both normal and pathologic prostate. The cross talk of signals between epithelial and neuroendocrine cells seems relevant to the development and physiopathology of the prostate; thus the relationship between these cell populations should be more deeply studied.
The human prostate.-The neuroendocrine system and the human prostate.- Innervation and neuroendocrine cells in both normal and hyperplastic prostate.- The prostate of the rat.- Neuroendocrine cells in the rat prostate.- Innervation of the rat prostate.- Subject index