• Estradiol;
  • Prostate;
  • Smooth muscle cell;
  • Proliferation;
  • Apoptosis;
  • Cell cycle


Abundant evidence indicates that estrogens have an important role in the pathology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). To investigate the effect of 17β-estradiol (E2) on the proliferation and apoptosis of prostatic smooth muscle cells (PSMCs), rat PSMCs were obtained and exposed to gradient concentrations (0.1–100 nmol/l) of E2 over varying amounts of time. The progression of cell cycle, cellular apoptosis, cyclin D1, Bcl-2 and Bax proteins were detected. The data show that the effect of E2 on rat PSMCs is bilateral: it promotes cell proliferation by enhancing the expression of cyclin D1, which accelerates G 1 to S phase transition; on the other hand, it induces apoptosis of the cells by up-regulating the expression of Bax. We thus suggest that an increase in estrogen may exert a launching effect in the pathology of BPH.