The Expression of β3-Adrenoceptors and Their Function in the Human Prostate

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Little is known about β3-adrenoceptor (AR) expression and function in human prostate. We examined the expression and distribution of β-AR subtypes in normal prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) tissues, and investigated which selective β-AR subtype agonist was most involved in the relaxation of isolated human prostate strips.


Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression for β1-, β2-, and β3-ARs was investigated using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR). Quantitative analysis of mRNA expression of β-AR subtypes between normal prostate and BPH tissues was performed using quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR). Distributions were examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Strips of human normal prostate or BPH were suspended in organ baths and exposed to isoproterenol, dobutamine, procaterol, and TRK-380 to investigate their relaxant effects on KCl-induced contractions, and their inhibitory effects on electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced contractions.


We confirmed the presence of mRNA for β1-, β2-, and β3-ARs both in normal prostate and in BPH tissues. For β3-AR, mRNA expression in BPH tissues was significantly higher than in normal prostate tissues, but there was no significant difference in β1- and β2-AR expression between normal and BPH tissues. IHC revealed differences in staining intensity between smooth muscle cells and glandular cells, with different proportions for different β-AR subtypes. Staining of β3-AR was particularly intense in smooth muscle cells as opposed to glandular cells. Isoproterenol and TRK-380 significantly decreased the tone of KCl-induced contractions of the normal prostate strips. The rank order of relaxant effects was isoproterenol > TRK-380 > procaterol > dobutamine. All selective β-AR agonists significantly decreased the amplitude of EFS-induced contractions of the normal prostate strips. The rank order of inhibitory effects was isoproterenol > dobutamine >TRK-380 > procaterol. In BPH strips, all selective β-AR agonists showed no significant relaxant or inhibitory effects on KCl- or EFS-induced contractions.


β3-AR is abundant in human prostate smooth muscle, whose relaxation is mediated by β1- and β3-AR stimulation. β3-AR agonists may have clinical use in the treatment of male non-BPH patients or neurogenic bladder patients with voiding dysfunction. Prostate 76:163–171, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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