Previous studies have shown that long-term alcohol treatment has negative effects on prostatic stromal-epithelial interaction. Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyze the histochemical, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural alterations that occur in the prostatic stroma and epithelium of rats submitted to chronic alcohol ingestion and alcohol abstinence, as well as to establish the relationship between these changes and prostatic diseases. Thirty male rats (10 Wistar and 20 UChB rats) were divided into three experimental groups: the control group received tap water, the alcoholic group received ethanol diluted to 10 degrees G.L. for 150 days, and the abstinent group received the same liquid diet as the alcoholic group up to 120 days of treatment and only tap water for 30 days thereafter. At the end of treatment, all animals were sacrificed and the ventral lobe of the prostate was removed and processed for histochemical, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses. In addition, plasma testosterone levels were measured. The results showed prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, infolding of the epithelium towards the stroma, stromal hypertrophy and the presence of inflammatory cells in alcoholic animals. In the abstinent group, alterations were noted mainly in the stromal area. In conclusion, ethanol triggers alterations in prostatic epithelial and stromal compartments, affecting the stromal microenvironment and predisposing the organ to pathological processes.
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"The ethanol alters the epithelial cells  , the normal stromalepithelial homeostasis , the inflammation , and the concentration of retinoic acid  in the prostate. This gland produces and secretes collagenase-like peptidase and gelatinolytic proteinases, such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), that are important for reproduction567 and for turnover of the extracellular matrix components (ECM) as collagens, elastins, gelatin, matrix glycoproteins, and proteo- glycan8910. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We investigated whether chronic ethanol intake is capable of altering the MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities and TIMP-2 and TIMP-1 expression in the dorsal and lateral prostatic lobes of low (UChA) and high (UChB) ethanol-preferring rats. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 expression were significantly reduced in the lateral prostatic lobe of the ethanol drinking animals. Dorsal prostatic lobe was less affected showing no significant alterations in these proteins, except for a reduction in the TIMP-1 expression in UChA rats. These important findings demonstrate that chronic ethanol intake impairs the physiological balance of the prostate extracellular matrix turnover, through downregulation of MMPs, which may contribute to the development of prostatic diseases. Furthermore, since these proteins are also components of prostate secretion, the negative impact of chronic ethanol intake on fertility may also involve reduction of MMPs and TIMPs in the seminal fluid.
"There seem to be no doubt that UCh male rats display a low BW gain (Cândido et al., 2007) and epididymal weight (Martinez et al., 2000). It was also previously described that testosterone levels tends to drop with the chronic ethanol consumption (Montico et al., 2010; Cândido et al., 2007), and furthermore, every androgen-dependent reproductive tissue may have its morphophysiological function compromised. It is widely accepted that a severe reduction of serum testosterone levels in animals submitted to various alcohol doses is attributed to an indirect action on the LH surge through imbalance of the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis or directly by downregulating LH receptors in leydig cells (Van Thiel and Lester, 1979; Tadic et al., 2000). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Aquaporins (AQPs), notably AQP-1 and AQP-9, may contribute to reabsorption of fluid and solute across the epididymis. Ethanol is related to be a toxicant affecting directly or indirectly the epididymis and the sperm motility. This study examined the expression of AQP-1 and AQP-9 in adult epididymis of the UChA and UChB 10% (v/v) ethanol-preferring rats, focusing the ethanol-induced hormonal disturbances upon the regulation of these AQPs. Chronic ethanol intake significantly decreased body weight, while UChA and UChB rats displayed a marked loss of epididymal weights. Both ethanol-consuming animals had a severe reduction of testosterone levels, whereas LH and 17β-estradiol were unchanged. Throughout the epididymis, a strong reaction to AQP-1 was observed in myoid and endothelial cells of the UChB ethanol-preferring rats, differently from a moderate intensity in the initial segment of the UChA rats. In addition, AQP-9 showed a strong immunoreaction in the apical membrane of principal cells at initial segment. In cauda epididymis, the level of AQP-9 was reduced along the microvillus projections in both UChA and UChB rats compared to controls. We conclude that chronic ethanol consumption modulates the androgen levels, thereby modifying the expression pattern of AQP-1 and 9 in the epididymis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to characterize the structural and molecular changes in the coagulating gland from rats submitted to long-term alcohol treatment, as well as the possibility of recovery of these parameters after interrupting the alcohol administration. Ten Wistar and twenty UChB rats were divided into: Control group received tap water; Alcoholic group received 10% (v/v) ethanol daily for 150 days; and Abstinent group, received 10% (v/v) ethanol daily for 120 days and then tap water like the control for another 30 days. After 150 days, samples from the coagulating glands were processed for morphological and immunohistochemical analyses. The results showed atrophied epithelium and hypertrophied stroma, especially in the alcoholic group. Intensed androgen receptor (AR) immunolocalization was verified in the epithelium and weak in the stroma of the control group in relation to the other groups. Intensed insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 (IGFR-1) immunolocalization was verified in the stroma of the alcoholic and abstinent groups. Thus, it could be concluded that the excessive alcohol consumption caused morphological and molecular changes in the coagulating gland, characterizing the inverse relation of AR and IGFR-1 localization. The alcohol was an important factor in cellular mitosis occurrence, which could be fundamental element involved in glandular lesions.