Protocatechuic acid ameliorates testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia through the regulation of inflammation and oxidative stress in castrated rats

J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2020 Aug;34(8):e22502. doi: 10.1002/jbt.22502. Epub 2020 Mar 30.


Protocatechuic acid (PA) is a polyphenol-recognized for its efficacy as an antioxidant-possesses anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. The efficacy of PA in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has not been investigated. Forty-two castrated rats (n = 7) were treated as follows: control (corn oil), BPH only received testosterone propionate (TP) (TP 3 mg/kg intraperitoneally), BPH + PA (TP 3 mg/kg + PA 40 mg/kg), BPH + finasteride (Fin) (TP 3 mg/kg + Fin 10 mg/kg), PA only (40 mg/kg: by gavage), and Fin only (10 mg/kg: by gavage) for 4 weeks. In BPH rats, there were significant (P < .05) increases in prostatic (250%) and organosomatic (280%) weights compared with controls. Cotreatment decreased prostatic weights by 19% (PA) and 21% (Fin). Markers of inflammation: myeloperoxidase activities increased in serum (148%) and prostate (70%), as well as nitric oxide levels serum (92%) and prostatic (95%). Proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α increased by 3.6- and 2.8-fold. Furthermore, prostatic malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, and serum total acid phosphatase increased by 97%, 25%, and 48%, respectively. Histology revealed poor architecture and severe proliferation of the prostate in BPH rats. Inflammation and oxidative stress markers, as well as the histological alteration in BPH rats, was attenuated (P < .05) upon cotreatment with PA and comparable with Fin cotreatment. These results suggest that PA mitigates oxido-inflammatory responses and restored prostatic cytoarchitecture to levels comparable with control in rats induced with BPH.

Keywords: finasteride; oxido-inflammatory; prostatic hyperplasia; protocatechuic acid; testosterone propionate.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Castration*
  • Hydroxybenzoates / pharmacology*
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / chemically induced
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage*
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • protocatechuic acid
  • Testosterone