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Prostate. 2019 Mar;79(4):379-389. doi: 10.1002/pros.23744. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Experimental rat prostatitis caused by Trichomonas vaginalis infection.

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Department of Pathology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Environmental Biology and Medical Parasitology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Urology, Saint Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Environmental and Tropical Medicine, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Trichomonas vaginalis (T. vaginalis) is the most common sexually transmitted parasite. It has been detected in prostatic tissue of patients with prostatitis and reported to be associated with chronic prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as prostate cancer. Recently, experimental rodent models of prostatitis induced by pathogen infection have been developed. However, there have so far been no reports of prostatitis caused by T. vaginalis infection in animals. Here, we investigated whether infection with T. vaginalis via the rat urethra could cause prostatitis.


T. vaginalis was injected into prostate through urethra of rat (Wistar rats), and the rats were killed 1, 2, or 4 weeks later. The presence of T. vaginalis trophozoites in the rat prostates was examined by immunohistochemistry, and pathological changes of the prostate were observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining and evaluated by grading from 0 to 5 for inflammatory cell infiltration, acinar changes, and interstitial fibrosis. Infiltrated mast cells were observed by toluidine blue staining of rat prostate tissue. Chemokine C-C motif ligand 2 (CCL2) levels of the rat prostates were measured by ELISA.


T. vaginalis trophozoites were observed in acini in the prostates of the injected rats. The prostate tissues had higher pathological scores, and 83% (5/6) and 100% (6/6) of the ventral and dorsolateral lobes (n = 6), respectively, were inflamed. Infiltration and degranulation of mast cells were observed at higher rates in prostate sections of the T. vaginalis-infected rats. Also, prostate tissues of the injected rats had increased CCL2 levels.


Injection of T. vaginalis in rats caused prostatitis as revealed by pathologic changes, mast cell infiltration and increased CCL2 production. Therefore, this study provides the first evidence that T. vaginalis infection in rats causes prostatitis.


CCL2; Trichomonas vaginalis; histopathology; mast cell; prostatitis


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