Testicular Steroids, Prolactin, Relaxin and Prostate Gland Markers in Peripheral Blood and Seminal Plasma of Normal Dogs and Dogs with Prostatic Hyperplasia

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Concentrations of 17β-oestradiol (E2), testosterone (T), 5α-dihydrotestosterone, prolactin (PRL) and relaxin (RLN) were determined in peripheral blood serum or plasma and prostatic secretion of 77 physically healthy intact male dogs (19 Rhodesian Ridgebacks/RR, 58 dogs of other breeds, 1–9 years of age). Furthermore, the concentrations of acid phosphatase in prostatic secretion and canine prostate-specific esterase (CPSE) were measured in blood plasma. All dogs were submitted to a complete breeding soundness examination, including B-mode sonography. Prostatic volume was larger, and blood plasma levels of CPSE were higher in ageing dogs and in dogs with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) compared with young dogs and dogs with normal prostate. Furthermore, a higher E2/T ratio was found in dogs with BPH. Despite missing significant differences in PRL concentrations, the slight increases in PRL concentrations in the prostatic secretion observed both with increasing age and in dogs with BPH and the observed correlations between concentrations of PRL and testicular steroids may possibly indicate a role of PRL in the pathogenesis of canine BPH. Serum RLN concentrations were at similar level in all dogs. Regarding breed differences, an appreciably larger prostatic volume and higher concentration of CPSE were verified in RR than in other pure-bred dogs, confirming our suspicion of a premature enlargement of the prostate gland, which may result from a genetic disposition for BPH in this breed.

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