Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is characterized by varying degrees of epithelial and stromal hyperplasia in association with inflammation. Although androgens are known to be important for the growth and function of the prostate, their role in the development of BPH is unclear. The release of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in response to inflammation suggests that PDGF may participate in the development of BPH. Cultured prostate cells derived from patients with BPH were examined for the presence of functional PDGF and androgen receptors. The cells expressed PDGF receptors and responded to PDGF stimulation by the activation of the PDGF signal transduction pathway and a dose-dependent stimulation of cell proliferation. Even though the cells expressed androgen receptors, dihydrotestosterone failed to elicit a mitogenic response. While the role of androgens in BPH remains unclear, these results suggest that inflammation and, specifically, PDGF may be important etiologic factors in the development of BPH.