Background: Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are known to play an important role in the growth of prostatic epithelial cells. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is characterized by increased epithelial and stromal proliferation within the transition zone of the prostate. FGF2, FGF7, and FGF9 are expressed in BPH tissue but expression of FGF17 has not been previously characterized in human prostate tissue.
Methods: Expression of FGF17 in human prostate tissue and primary cultures of prostatic epithelial and stromal cells was determined by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Growth response to FGF17 was assessed by addition of recombinant FGF17 to immortalized normal and neoplastic epithelial cell lines and primary cultures of prostatic stromal cells in the presence of insulin. Quantitative analysis of expression of FGF17 relative to keratin 18 and/or beta-actin in normal and hyperplastic prostate and prostate carcinoma was carried out by real-time quantitative RT-PCR.
Results: FGF17 is expressed by prostatic epithelial cells and can act as an autocrine growth factor for immortalized and neoplastic prostatic epithelial cells. It can also promote stromal proliferation, although only at higher concentrations. Expression of FGF17 per epithelial cell was increased 2-fold in BPH.
Conclusions: FGF17 is expressed by normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic prostatic epithelial cells and can promote epithelial proliferation in an autocrine manner. FGF17 expression is increased 2-fold in BPH and may contribute to the increased epithelial proliferation seen in this disease.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.