Biological effect of human serum collected before and after oral intake of Pygeum africanum on various benign prostate cell cultures

Nuffield Department of Surgical Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Asian Journal of Andrology (Impact Factor: 2.6). 12/2011; 14(3):499-504. DOI: 10.1038/aja.2011.132
Source: PubMed


Pygeum africanum (Tadenan) is a popular phytotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. The active compounds of the drug have not been identified, and determining the plasma concentration of the drug is, therefore, not possible. Because there are conflicting results on the efficacy of this drug, we aimed to investigate its effect on prostate cell growth in vitro using human serum collected before and after Pygeum africanum intake. We used primary and organotypic cultures of human prostatic stromal myofibroblast cell line WPMY and prostatic epithelial cell line PNT2. We also used fresh benign prostatic tissue. The serum of a treated man induced decreases in the proliferation of primary cells, organotypic cells and WPMY cells but not PNT2 cells. We also analysed the effect of treated serum on the gene expression profile of WPMY cells. The transcriptome analysis revealed an upregulation of genes involved in multiple tumour suppression pathways and a downregulation of genes involved in inflammation and oxidative-stress pathways. The oral intake of Pygeum africanum resulted in serum levels of active substances that were sufficient to inhibit the proliferation of cultured myofibroblasts prostatic cells. This inhibition was associated with changes in the transcriptome.

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