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Urol Res. 1995;23(2):81-7.

Neuroendocrine peptides in the prostate.


Circulating androgens are required for normal growth and maintenance of function of the prostate. However, the prostate also contains neuroendocrine peptides, found either in nerve terminals or in prostatic neuroendocrine cells, which are likely to regulate prostate growth or function. The neuronal peptides are likely to participate in the regulation of the synthesis and secretion of prostatic secretory products. While the function of the neuroendocrine cells is undefined, there is evidence for growth-regulating effects of several neuroendocrine cell peptides. Since neuroendocrine differentiation has been correlated with tumor grade and poor prognosis in prostate cancer, the peptide products of the neuroendocrine cells may influence cancer cell replication as well. Recent evidence in other tissues suggests that peptide hormone receptor second-messenger systems may interact with steroid receptors to modulate their actions. These findings raise the possibility that prostatic neuroendocrine peptides may modulate the response of prostate to androgens.

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