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Inhibitory effects of Pycnogenol®, a pine bark extract, in a rat model of testosterone propionate-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia


Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is a male reproductive disease that has gained increasing importance in recent years. The present study investigated whether Pycnogenol® (PYC), a standardized French maritime pine bark extract, could prevent BPH induced by testosterone propionate (TP) in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups of six rats. One group was used as a normal control rats and the other groups received subcutaneous injections of TP for 4 weeks to induce BPH. In the two treatment groups, PYC (20 or 40 mg/kg) was administered daily for 4 weeks by oral gavage concurrently with the induction of TP. All rats were sacrificed at the scheduled termination time, the prostates were weighed, and histopathologic examinations were conducted. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in serum and the prostate were measured, and the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki-67 proteins was investigated. BPH-treated animals showed increases in the relative weight of the prostate, higher concentrations of DHT in serum and the prostate, and higher expression of PCNA and Ki-67 in the prostate; in contrast, PYC-treated animals had significant reductions in these factors compared with the BPH animals. These findings indicated that PYC inhibited the development of BPH and that this was closely associated with a reduction in DHT concentration.


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Correspondence to In-Sik Shin or Dong-Ho Shin.

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Ko, JW., Park, SW., Shin, NR. et al. Inhibitory effects of Pycnogenol®, a pine bark extract, in a rat model of testosterone propionate-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia. Lab Anim Res 34, 111–117 (2018).

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  • Benign prostate hyperplasia
  • Pycnogenol
  • dihydrotestosterone
  • proliferating cell nuclear antigen
  • Ki-67