Chronic ethanol consumption leads to reproductive damages, since it can act directly in the tissues or indirectly, causing a hormonal imbalance. Prostate is a hormone-dependent gland and, consequently, susceptible to ethanol. The potential of testosterone therapy in the ethanol-related disorders was investigated in the prostate microenvironment.Main methods:
UChB rats aged 90 days were divided into 2 experimental groups (n = 20): C: drinking water only and EtOH: drinking 10% (v/v) ethanol at > 2 g/kg body weight / day + water. At 150 days old, 10 rats from each group received subcutaneous injections of testosterone cypionate (5 mg/kg body weight) diluted in corn oil every other day for 4 weeks, constituting T and EtOH + T, while the remaining animals received corn oil as vehicle. Animals were euthanized at 180 days old, by decapitation. Blood was collected to obtain hormone concentrations and ventral prostate was dissected and processed for light microscope and molecular analyses.Key findings:
Ventral prostate weight, plasma testosterone and DHT and intraprostatic testosterone concentrations were increased after testosterone treatment. Plasma estradiol level was reduced in the EtOH + T. Inflammatory foci, metaplasia and epithelial atrophy were constantly found in the prostate of EtOH and were not observed after hormonal therapy. No differences were found in the expression of AR, ERβ and DACH-1. Additionally, testosterone treatment down-regulated ERα and increased the e-cadherin and α-actinin immunoreactivities.Significance:
Testosterone was able to reverse damages caused by ethanol consumption in the prostate microenvironment and becomes a possible target to be investigated to ethanol-related disorders.