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Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of prostatic histomorphology in rats following chronic treatment with finasteride, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor


, : Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of prostatic histomorphology in rats following chronic treatment with finasteride, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Urology 43(5): 680-685

To determine any potential direct and/or indirect effects of elevated intraprostatic T levels on the prostates of rats chronically (1-2 years) exposed to high doses (160 mg/kg/day) of finasteride, a selective inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase. Sprague-Dawley male rats were administered daily finasteride by oral gavage. Prostates from all rats were weighed, fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin, and processed for light microscopic examination. The volume fractions of the prostatic glandular and stromal compartments were quantitated by morphometric analysis. Administration of finasteride at doses of 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg/day for one year resulted in a significant (P < or = 0.05) decrease in prostatic weight; prostatic atrophy was evident by light microscopy. Morphometric analysis of the prostate showed that chronic finasteride administration resulted in a significant (P < or = 0.001) decrease in the absolute volume of both glandular (-65.2%) and stromal (-57.1%) compartments of the prostate. Furthermore, the total number of epithelial and stromal cells per gland were significantly (P < or = 0.002) decreased in finasteride-treated rats compared with vehicle controls; the magnitude of mean decrease was 69.8 percent and 50.6 percent of controls in epithelial and stromal cells, respectively. In addition, prostates from all two hundred fifty rats in a two-year study were qualitatively evaluated by light microscopy. Administration of finasteride at doses ranging from 2.5 mg/kg/day to 160 mg/kg/day for two years did not result in an increase over the background incidence of prostatic focal hyperplasia or adenoma. No malignant tumors of the prostate were seen in any of the groups. These studies have demonstrated that the expected pharmacologic effects of finasteride on the prostate are maintained following chronic treatment and that there was no evidence of a direct and/or an indirect effect of elevated intraprostatic T on prostatic morphology in rats.

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PMID: 7513109


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