High expression of a CD38-like molecule in normal prostatic epithelium and its differential loss in benign and malignant disease

J Urol. 1995 Nov;154(5):1636-41.


Purpose: We characterize an undescribed antigen on prostatic epithelial cells, which is recognized by anti-CD38.

Materials and methods: Normal (3 cases), benign hyperplastic (10) and carcinomatous (10) prostatic tissues were analyzed using immunohistochemistry, immuno-electron microscopy and the Western blot test.

Results: Comparison of prostatic and lymphatic CD38 antigen revealed identical bands at 45 kD. Electron microscopy demonstrated anti-CD38 reactivity on the cytoplasmic membrane and within the secretory vacuoles. Double labeling with anti-cytokeratin types 5/15 and 8/18 confirmed that basal and secretory normal prostatic epithelial cells express CD38. By contrast, a complete loss was found in malignant (52.8%), tumor-surrounding nonmalignant (16.3%) and benign prostatic hyperplasia derived glands (3.7%).

Conclusions: CD38 is a novel prostatic antigen. Its role in intracellular calcium mobilization may contribute to smooth muscle cell contraction and/or sperm motility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Differentiation / biosynthesis*
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases / biosynthesis*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • CD38 protein, human
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1