Background: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an extremely common disease of older men characterized by increased growth of prostatic epithelial and stromal cells. Previously we showed that senescent epithelial cells accumulate in the prostate of aging men and secrete interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha). IL-8 is also present at increased levels in BPH tissues and induces expression of FGF2, a potent stromal growth factor. Therefore, we sought to determine if IL-8 is also expressed at increased levels by senescent epithelial cells and if this secreted IL-8 plays a role in the pathogenesis of BPH.
Methods: Expression of IL-8 in human BPH tissue and primary cultures of prostatic epithelial cells was analyzed using an enzyme-linked immunoabsorption assay (ELISA). Tissue senescence was assessed by a quantitative assay for senescence-associated beta galactosidase (SA-beta gal). Proliferation of primary and immortalized prostatic epithelial cells in response to IL-8 was determined by counting of cells at intervals after addition of IL-8.
Results: Expression of IL-8 is significantly increased in vitro when cultured prostatic epithelial cells undergo senescence. Quantitative assay of BPH tissue extracts revealed that tissue IL-8 levels are correlated with both SA-beta gal activity and prostate weight. IL-8 promotes proliferation of primary and immortalized prostatic epithelial cells in culture.
Conclusions: Senescence of prostatic epithelial cells results in increased expression of IL-8, which can promote proliferation of non-senescent epithelial and stromal cells by direct and indirect mechanisms, and in this manner contributes to the increased tissue growth seen in BPH.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.