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Prostate. 2014 Apr;74(4):441-9. doi: 10.1002/pros.22766. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

Inflammatory response of prostate epithelial cells to stimulation by Trichomonas vaginalis.

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Department of Environmental Biology and Medical Parasitology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Trichomonas vaginalis is known as the most common cause of sexually transmitted infection. However, its prevalence may have been underestimated. Trichomonads are detected in prostatic tissue in benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, and prostate cancer. Our objective was to investigate whether T. vaginalis could induce an inflammatory response in prostate epithelium.


The cytokine production by human prostate epithelial cell (RWPE-1) activated with T. vaginalis was determined by ELISA and real-time PCR. Intracellular ROS was evaluated by flow cytometry or spectrofluorometry. The protein levels of MAP kinase, NF-κB were analyzed by Western blot. The migration of neutrophil and monocyte were performed in 24-well microplates with filter insert.


Incubation of cells of a human prostate epithelial cell line with a live T. vaginalis T016 isolate increased expression of the inflammatory mediators IL-1β, CCL2, and CXCL8. In addition, ROS, MAPK, and NF-κB activities increased, while inhibitors of ROS, ERK, and NF-κB reduced IL-1β production. Medium conditioned by incubation of RWPE-1 cells with T. vaginalis contained IL-1β and stimulated the migration of human neutrophils and monocytes (THP-1 cell line).


We conclude that T. vaginalis may increase IL-1β expression in human prostate epithelium through activation of ROS, ERK, and NF-κB, and this in turn may induce the migration of neutrophils and monocytes and lead to an inflammatory response. This research is the first attempt to confirm inflammatory reaction caused by T. vaginalis in prostate epithelial cell.


IL-1β; Trichomonas vaginalis; monocyte migration; neutrophil; prostate epithelial cell

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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