The effect of Rhodiola sachalinensis Boriss extract irradiated with 50 kGy gamma rays (HKC) on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) was investigated. Seven-week-old male SD rats received a subcutaneous injection of 20 mg/kg of testosterone propionate (TP) to induce BPH. Then, the testosterone only group received testosterone, the testosterone + finasteride group received testosterone and finasteride (5 mg/kg), the testosterone + HKC group received testosterone and HKC extract (500 mg/kg). Prostate weight and the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in serum or prostate tissue were determined. The mRNA expressions of 5-alpha reductase (AR) in prostate tissue were also measured. Compared to the control group, prostate weight was significantly improved in the TP group and decreased in the HKC and finasteride-treated groups. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of 5-AR in the prostate was significantly reduced in the HKC and finasteride-treated groups. Similarly, the expression levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and cytokeratin, which are associated with prostatic enlargement in the HKC and finasteride groups, were much lower than in the TP group. HKC treatment showed similar efficacy to finasteride treatment on rats with testosterone-induced BPH. HKC may be explored as a potential new drug for BPH treatment.
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