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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jun 1;304(11):E1131-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00602.2012. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Role of androgen and vitamin D receptors in endothelial cells from benign and malignant human prostate.

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Department of Physiology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Forty years ago, Judah Folkman (Folkman. N Engl J Med 285: 1182-1186, 1971) proposed that tumor growth might be controlled by limiting formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) needed to supply a growing tumor with oxygen and nutrients. To this end, numerous "antiangiogenic" agents have been developed and tested for therapeutic efficacy in cancer patients, including prostate cancer (CaP) patients, with limited success. Despite the lack of clinical efficacy of lead anti-angiogenic therapeutics in CaP patients, recent published evidence continues to support the idea that prostate tumor vasculature provides a reasonable target for development of new therapeutics. Particularly relevant to antiangiogenic therapies targeted to the prostate is the observation that specific hormones can affect the survival and vascular function of prostate endothelial cells within normal and malignant prostate tissues. Here, we review the evidence demonstrating that both androgen(s) and vitamin D significantly impact the growth and survival of endothelial cells residing within prostate cancer and that systemic changes in circulating androgen or vitamin D drastically affect blood flow and vascularity of prostate tissue. Furthermore, recent evidence will be discussed about the expression of the receptors for both androgen and vitamin D in prostate endothelial cells that argues for direct effects of these hormone-activated receptors on the biology of endothelial cells. Based on this literature, we propose that prostate tumor vasculature represents an unexplored target for modulation of tumor growth. A better understanding of androgen and vitamin D effects on prostate endothelial cells will support development of more effective angiogenesis-targeting therapeutics for CaP patients.


androgen receptor; androgens; endothelium; prostate cancer; vitamin D

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