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Prostate. 2000 Jun 15;44(1):49-54.

PSA is a candidate self-antigen in autoimmune chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

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Division of Urology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Section of Urology, VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.



Previous studies demonstrated that recognition of seminal plasma antigens can occur in patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This suggests that an autoimmune component may contribute to symptoms in some men. To determine if any of the principal secretory proteins of the prostate could be candidate antigens in autoimmune prostatitis, we examined the recall proliferative response of purified CD4 T cells in patients with chronic prostatitis and in normal volunteers using purified seminal plasma antigens and autologous dendritic cells.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were harvested from 14 patients with chronic prostatitis and 12 normal volunteers by density gradient centrifugation. The stimulating cells were irradiated autologous dendritic cells produced by culture of monocyte-enriched fractions with IL-4 and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF). Purified CD4 T cells were the responding population. Recall proliferation assays were performed, using purified seminal plasma proteins as antigens.


In 14 patients with chronic prostatitis, we detected a greater than 2-fold increase in proliferative response to PSA compared to control in 5 patients (36%). No response to Prostatic Acid Phosphatase (PAP) or beta-microseminoprotein was observed in these 14 patients. In 12 normal volunteer donors with no history of genitourinary disease or symptoms, no proliferative response above background was observed for any prostatic antigen.


The data suggest that some men with symptoms of chronic prostatitis have evidence of a proliferative CD4 T-cell response to PSA. PSA is a candidate antigen in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and may be an appropriate target for immunotherapy for prostatic cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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