Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone inhibit proliferation induced by inflammation in prostatic epithelial cells

Petra Popovics, Andrew V. Schally, Luis Salgueiro, Krisztina Kovacs, Ferenc G. Rick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The etiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is multifactorial, and chronic inflammation plays a pivotal role in its pathogenesis. Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that has been shown to act as paracrine/autocrine factor in various malignancies including prostate cancer. GHRH and its receptors are expressed in experimental models of BPH, in which antagonists of GHRH suppressed the levels of proinflammatory cytokines and altered the expression of genes related to epithelial-To-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We investigated the effects of GHRH antagonist on prostatic enlargement induced by inflammation. Autoimmune prostatitis in Balb/C mice was induced by a homogenate of reproductive tissues of male rats. During the 8-wk induction of chronic prostatitis, we detected a progressive increase in prostatic volume reaching 92% at week 8 compared with control (P < 0.001). Daily treatment for 1 mo with GHRH antagonist MIA-690 caused a 30% reduction in prostate volume (P < 0.05). Conditioned medium derived from macrophages increased the average volume of spheres by 82.7% (P < 0.001) and elevated the expression of mRNA for N-cadherin, Snail, and GHRH. GHRH antagonist reduced the average volume of spheres stimulated by inflammation by 75.5% (P < 0.05), and TGF-β2 by 91.8% (P < 0.01). The proliferation of primary epithelial cells stimulated by IL-17A or TGF-β2 was also inhibited by 124.1% and 69.9%, respectively. GHRH stimulated the growth of BPH-1 and primary prostate spheres. This study provides evidence that GHRH plays important roles in prostatic inflammation and EMT and suggests the merit of further investigation to elucidate the effects of GHRH antagonists in prostatitis and BPH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1364
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 7 2017


  • Chronic prostatic inflammation
  • Experimental autoimmune prostatitis
  • Neuropeptide
  • Prostatic hyperplasia
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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