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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of 5alpha-reductase isoforms by oxytocin in the rat ventral prostate.

Oxytocin (OT) is present in the male reproductive tract, where it is known to modulate contractility, cell growth, and steroidogenesis. Little is known about how OT regulates these processes. This study describes the localization of OT receptor in the rat ventral prostate and investigates if OT regulates gene expression and/or activity of 5alpha-reductase isoforms I and II. The ventral prostates of adult male Wistar rats were collected following daily sc administration of saline (control), OT, a specific OT antagonist or both OT plus antagonist for 3 d. Expression of the OT receptor was identified in the ventral prostate by RT-PCR and Western blot, and confirmed to be a single active binding site by radioreceptor assay. Immunohistochemistry localized the receptor to the epithelium of prostatic acini and to the stromal tissue. Real-time RT-PCR determined that OT treatment significantly reduced expression of 5alpha-reductase I but significantly increased 5alpha-reductase II expression in the ventral prostate. Activity of both isoforms of 5alpha-reductase was significantly increased by OT, resulting in increased concentration of prostatic dihydrotestosterone. In conclusion, OT is involved in regulating conversion of testosterone to the biologically active dihydrotestosterone in the rat ventral prostate. It does so by differential regulation of 5alpha-reductase isoforms I and II.[1]


  1. Regulation of 5alpha-reductase isoforms by oxytocin in the rat ventral prostate. Assinder, S.J., Johnson, C., King, K., Nicholson, H.D. Endocrinology (2004) [Pubmed]
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