Objectives: With the introduction of sildenafil citrate (VIAGRA™), the concept of phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibition has gained tremendous interest in the field of urology. Cyclic nucleotide second messengers cGMP and cAMP have been assumed to be involved in the control of the normal function of the prostate. The aim of the present study was to evaluate by means of immunohistochemistry the expression and distribution of some cAMP- and cGMP-PDE isoenzymes in the prostate. Material & Methods: Cryostat sections (10 μM) of formaldehyde-fixated tissue segments excised from the transition zone of human prostates were incubated with primary antibodies directed against the PDE isoenzymes 3, 4, 5, and 11. Then, sections were exposed to either fluorescein isothiocyanate- (FITC) or Texas Red- (TR) labeled secondary antibodies and visualization was commenced by means of laser fluorescence microscopy. Results: TR-immunofluorescence indicating the presence of PDE4 (cAMP-PDE) was abundantly observed in the fibromuscular stroma as well as in glandular structures of the transition zone. In contrast to the distribution of PDE4, immunoactivity indicating PDE5 (cGMP-PDE) and 11 (dual substrate PDE) was mainly observed in glandular and subglandular areas. No immunostaining for PDE3 (cGMP-inhibited PDE) was detected. Conclusion: Our results confirm the presence of PDE isoenzymes 4, 5 and 11 in the transition zone of the human prostate and present evidence that these isoenzymes are not evenly distributed. These findings are in support of the hypothesis that there might be a rationale for the use of PDE inhibitors in the pharmacotherapy of BPH and LUTS.
- Benign prostatic syndrome (BPS)
- Cyclic nucleotides
ASJC Scopus subject areas