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Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 15;7(11):12053-62. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7641.

Elevated expression of HIF-lα in actively growing prostate tissues is associated with clinical features of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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Department of Urology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Urology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Radiology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.



Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is one of the most common diseases in middle-age or older men. Increasing evidence has shown that BPH is associated with hypoxia microenvironment.


We retrospectively collected patient data and tissue samples from fetal prostates(FP), normal prostates(NP), intra-acinar of BPH, peri-acinar of BPH, prostate cancers and sarcomas of prostate. The expression of HIF-1α, as well as VEGF was visualized by immunohistochemistry and statistically analyzed with clinical parameters.


Expression of HIF-lα was observed in intra-acinar of BPH (69.5%), prostate cancer (85.7%) and all FPs, while NP and peri-acinar of BPH tissues were all stained negative. HIF-lα levels in FPs and the malignant tumors were higher than BPH tissues(p < 0.05), and the expression of HIF-lα in intra-acinar of BPH was higher than NP and peri-acinar of BPH (p < 0.05). The expression of HIF-lα was correlated with the weight of intra-acinar of prostate (p < 0.05). And patients with prostate weight larger that 72.45g were prone to have HIF-lα moderate-positive expression, according to the ROC curve (AUC = 0.734, 95%CI = 0.630-0.838). Moreover, the risk of acute urine retention (AUR) for HIF-lα moderate-positive patients increased significantly (OR=5.517, 95%CI = 2.434-12.504).


HIF-lα expression is increased in highly proliferative prostate tissues and correlated with the weight of intra-acinar prostate. Moreover, HIF-lα is also an independent risk factor for AUR occurrence in BPH patients.


Pathology Section; acute urine retention(AUR); benign prostatic hyperplasia(BPH); fetal prostate(FP); hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha(HIF-lα)

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