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Keywords:

  • BPH;
  • prostate;
  • androgen receptor;
  • rat;
  • anti-androgen;
  • DHT

Abstract

Human prostate was used as a source of 5α reductase. Compounds were incubated with an enzyme preparation and [3H]testosterone. [3H]-dihydrotestosterone production was measured to calculate 5ã reductase activity. IC50 values (ng/ml) were finasteride = 1; Permixon = 5,600; Talso = 7,000; Strogen Forte = 31,000; Prostagutt = 40,000; and Tadenan = 63,000. Bazoton and Harzol had no activity at concentrations up to 500,000 ng/ml. In castrate rats stimulated with testosterone (T) or dihydrotestosterone (DHT), finasteride, but not Permixon or Bazoton, inhibited T stimulated prostate growth, while none of the three compounds inhibited DHT stimulated growth. These results demonstrate that finasteride inhibits 5α reductase, while Permixon and Bazoton have neither anti-androgen nor 5α reductase inhibitory activity. In addition, in a 7 day human clinical trial, finasteride, but not Permixon or placebo, decreased serum DHT in men, further confirming the lack of 5α reductase inhibition by Permixon. Finasteride and the plant extracts listed above do not inhibit the binding of DHT to the rat prostatic androgen receptor (concentrations to 100 μg/ml). Based on these results, it is unlikely that these plant extracts would shrink the prostate by inhibiting androgen action or 5α reductase. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.