Relation of endocrine-paracrine cells to cell proliferation in normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic human prostate

Prostate. 1991;19(2):91-8. doi: 10.1002/pros.2990190202.


The relative distribution pattern of the pan-endocrine marker Chromogranin A (Chr A) and the proliferation-associated Ki-67 antigen was investigated in 20 prospectively sampled prostatectomy specimens. In cryostat sections, the Chr A immunoreactivity showed evidence of endocrine differentiation in all 15 prostatic adenocarcinomas. Nine tumors displayed a weak, 5 a moderate, and 1 adenocarcinoma a strong endocrine differentiation. These findings highlight the importance of endocrine differentiation in prostate malignancy that histologically resembles ordinary adenocarcinomas. The simultaneous demonstration of Ki-67 and Chr A revealed that in normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic prostate tissue Chr A-positive cells were preferentially situated in proximity to Ki-67-labeled cells. This relative distribution pattern of both markers may indicate that endocrine cells are involved in controlling cell proliferation through a paracrine hormonal mechanism. However, an obvious correlation was not found between the degree of endocrine differentiation and proliferative activity in prostatic adenocarcinomas. Furthermore, a coexpression of Ki-67 and Chr A in the same (tumor) cells was not observed suggesting that the endocrine phenotype is only expressed in the G0 phase of the cell cycle as well as in normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Aged
  • Cell Division
  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / cytology*
  • Prostate / immunology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / immunology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Nuclear Proteins