Coupling of α1-adrenoceptors to ERK1/2 in the human prostate

Ricarda M. Bauer, Frank Strittmatter, Christian Gratzke, Johanna Göttinger, Boris Schlenker, Oliver Reich, Christian G. Stief, Petter Hedlund, Karl Erik Andersson, Martin Hennenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: α1-Adrenoceptors are considered critical for the regulation of prostatic smooth muscle tone. However, previous studies suggested further α1-adrenoceptor functions besides contraction. Here, we investigated whether α1-adrenoceptors in the human prostate may activate extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2). Methods: Prostate tissues from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy were stimulated in vitro. Activation of ERK1/2 was assessed by Western blot analysis. Expression of ERK1/2 was studied by immunohistochemistry. The effect of ERK1/2 inhibition by U0126 on phenylephrine-induced contraction was studied in organ-bath experiments. Results: Stimulation of human prostate tissue with noradrenaline (30 μM) or phenylephrine (10 μM) resulted in ERK activation. This was reflected by increased levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2. Expression of ERK1/2 in the prostate was observed in smooth muscle cells. Incubation of prostate tissue with U0126 (30 μM) resulted in ERK1/2 inhibition. Dose-dependent phenylephrine-induced contraction of prostate tissue was not modulated by U0126. Conclusions: α1-Adrenoceptors in the human prostate are coupled to ERK1/2. This may partially explain previous observations suggesting a role of α1-adrenoceptors in the regulation of prostate growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • α1-Adrenoceptor blocker
  • α-Adrenoceptor
  • Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Prostate hyperplasia
  • Smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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