Changes in the metabolism of dihydrotestosterone in the hyperplastic human prostate

John T. Isaacs, Charles B. Brendler, Patrick C. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


It has been well established that hyperplastic human prostatic tissue is characterized by a 3- to 4-fold elevation in the content of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) compared to that in normal prostatic tissue. However, the exact mechanism responsible for DHT accumulation has not been established. One hypothesis for the abnormal elevation of DHT content in hyperplastic prostatic tissue is that changes occur in the tissue itself which shift the overall balance of androgen metabolism favoring the increased accumulation of DHT. To test this hypothesis, the metabolic activities that produce and remove DHT were determined in a series of normal as well as hyperplastic human prostates. The results of these studies demonstrated that in each of the eight separate hyperplastic prostatic tissues assayed, there was a significant increase in 50α-reductase activity producing DHT concomitant with significant decreases in the 3α- and 3β-hydroxysteroid oxidoreductase reductase and 17β- hydroxysteroid oxidoreductase oxidase activities removing DHT. These specific alterations result in a major shift in the overall balance of androgen metabolism which favors an increase in the net formation of DHT in hyperplastic prostatic tissue. Such a shift in androgen metabolism is, therefore, at least one mechanism for the well documented increase in DHT content found in hyperplastic human prostatic tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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