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Urology. 2015 Mar;85(3):704.e15-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2014.11.026.

Zinc induces a bell-shaped proliferative dose-response effect in cultured smooth muscle cells from benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Department of Drug Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Laboratory of Translational Neuropharmacology, Center of Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Futurum Academy for Health and Care, Jönköping County Council, Jönköping, Sweden.
Department of Drug Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. Electronic address:



To investigate the effects of zinc (Zn(2+)) concentrations on cultured benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation.


The effects of Zn(2+) were studied in primary cultures of human BPH SMC, stimulated with either 10-μM lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) or LPA in combination with 100-nM testosterone. Deoxyribonucleic acid replication and protein synthesis using [(3)H]-thymidine and [(35)S]-methionine incorporation were measured. Furthermore, studies were performed to evaluate if Zn(2+) could potentiate the inhibitory effect of phosphodiesterase-5 blockers, on BPH SMC proliferation.


Zn(2+) generated a bell-shaped concentration response, both regarding deoxyribonucleic acid replication and protein synthesis in cultured BPH SMC. Below a threshold value (approximately 200 μM), a significant mitogenic effect was seen, whereas higher concentrations inhibited SMC proliferation after stimulation with LPA. This effect was even more pronounced after stimulation of LPA in combination with testosterone. Moreover, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, that is, sildenafil blocked LPA-stimulated BPH SMC proliferation. This antiproliferative effect, was significantly potentiated by coincubation with Zn(2+) in an additative manner.


The bell-shaped concentration response of Zn(2+) on cultured BPH SMC proliferation suggests that changes in prostate Zn(2+) concentrations, during aging, diet, or inflammatory conditions, may be of importance in the pathogenesis of BPH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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