Neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation frequently occurs in common prostatic malignancies and has potential prognostic and therapeutic implications. In a recent study we were able to provide immunohistochemical evidence that endocrine-paracrine cell types represent an androgen-insensitive cell population in prostate cancer, documented by the consistent lack of the pertinent receptor. In this study we investigated the proliferative activity of endocrine-paracrine cell types in normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic prostate tissue. Using double-label techniques for the endocrine marker chromogranin A (chr A) and the proliferation-associated MIB-1 antigen, we evaluated the proliferative status of endocrine-paracrine cell types in the prostate and prostatic adenocarcinoma showing marked NE differentiation. In this series of carcinomas and in nonneoplastic tissue the proliferative activities were exclusively restricted to nonendocrine cell populations, whereas endocrine-paracrine cell types characterized by Chr A consistently lack MIB-1 immunoreactivity. This may indicate that prostatic endocrine-paracrine cell types do not participate in the cell cycle during normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic prostatic growth. Based on the present information, the endocrine phenotype can be considered to be an androgen-insensitive, postmitotic subpopulation in the prostate and prostate cancer.