Background Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the most common proliferat
ive disease affecting men. Numerous minimally invasive technologies are bei
ng developed or are currently in use to obviate the need for transurethral
surgery. The goal of the present study was to develop a novel molecular bas
ed approach for the treatment of BPH using recombinant p53 adenoviral vecto
r. The over-expression of wt-p53 can cause cell apoptosis or cell growth ar
rest, thus preventing the uncontrolled cell proliferation underlying BPH pa
Methods Ad-CMV-p53, a replication-deficient recombinant adenovirus containi
ng cytomegalovirus promoter driving p53 gene, was used. Human prostate stro
mal CPS) cells were evaluated for apoptosis (TUNEL assay), mRNA levels of k
ey cell cycle regulators influencing apoptosis (p-53, Bax and Bcl-2) using
quantitative RT-PCR and cytotoxicity after Ad-CMV-p53. Ad-CMV-p53 was unila
terally injected into rat ventral prostates and growth inhibition was measu
red by prostate weight 3 weeks after injection.
Results In vitro exposure to Ad-CMV-p53 significantly inhibited the prolife
ration of PS cells, induced mRNA over-expression of both wt-p53 and Bax, an
d increased the proportion of apoptotic cells. A 30% decrease in average pr
ostate weight was demonstrated in rodents after Ad-CMV-p53 injection.
Conclusions The results suggest that further investigation of molecular gen
e therapy with recombinant wt-p53 adenovirus for the treatment of BPH is wa
rranted. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.