The castration-induced regression and testosterone stimulated regrowth of the vasculature in the rat ventral prostate lobe were studied using stereological techniques. Seven days after castration, the endothelial cell proliferation rate (bromodeoxyuridine labeling index); the total weights of blood vessel walls, blood vessel lumina, endothelial cells, glandular epithelial cells; and total organ weight were all decreased. Within 2 days after sc treatment with testosterone, the total weights of blood vessel walls, endothelial cells, and vascular lumina, as well as the endothelial cell proliferation rate, were all normalized. In contrast to the rapid response of the vasculature, the total weight of glandular epithelium and total organ weight were not normalized during the 4 days of testosterone treatment. Growth of the vasculature apparently precedes growth of the glandular epithelium. The testosterone- dependent factors stimulating the vasculature are unknown, but factors derived from epithelial cells, mast cells (which accumulate in the prostate during the first day of testosterone treatment), and tissue macrophages could all be involved. Castration-induced regression and testosterone-stimulated regrowth of the prostatic vasculature can be used as an experimental model to study factors regulating angiogenesis and organ growth in the prostate.