Androgen receptor expression in the rat prostate is down-regulated by dietary phytoestrogens

Trend D. Lund, Daniel J. Munson, Herman Adlercreutz, Robert J. Handa, Edwin D. Lephart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background. It is well established that the growth of the prostate gland is a hormone-dependent phenomenon involving both androgenic and estrogenic control. Proliferation of prostate cells is, at least in part, under control of estrogen receptor beta (ER-beta).Phytoestrogens bind ER-beta with high affinity and therefore may have antiproliferative effects in the prostate. Methods. The prostates of male Long-Evans rats fed a diet high in phytoestrogens (Phyto-600) or very low levels of phytoestrogens (Phyto-free) were analyzed to determine the impact of dietary phytoestrogens on prostate weight and androgen receptor (AR) expression in the prostate. Results. Dietary phytoestrogens significantly decreased post-pubertal prostate weight gain in Phyto-600 vs Phyto-free fed males. Additionally, dietary phytoestrogens (Phyto-600) decreased AR expression in the prostate as determined by in situ hybridization. Conclusions. Soy phytoestrogens, present in diet, alter prostate growth presumably by binding ER-beta and subsequently reducing AR expression within the prostate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jan 16 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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