Comparison of finasteride (Proscar), a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor, and various commercial plant extracts in in vitro and in vivo 5 alpha reductase inhibition.
Department of Biochemistry, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065.
Human prostate was used as a source of 5 alpha reductase. Compounds were incubated with an enzyme preparation and [3H]testosterone. [3H]-dihydrotestosterone production was measured to calculate 5 alpha reductase activity. IC50 values (ng/ml) were finasteride = 1; Permixon = 5,600; Talso = 7,000; Strogen Forte = 31,000; Prostagutt = 40,000; and Tadenan = 63,000. Bazoton and Harzol had no activity at concentrations up to 500,000 ng/ml. In castrate rats stimulated with testosterone (T) or dihydrotestosterone (DHT), finasteride, but not Permixon or Bazoton, inhibited T stimulated prostate growth, while none of the three compounds inhibited DHT stimulated growth. These results demonstrate that finasteride inhibits 5 alpha reductase, while Permixon and Bazoton have neither anti-androgen nor 5 alpha reductase inhibitory activity. In addition, in a 7 day human clinical trial, finasteride, but not Permixon or placebo, decreased serum DHT in men, further confirming the lack of 5 alpha reductase inhibition by Permixon. Finasteride and the plant extracts listed above do not inhibit the binding of DHT to the rat prostatic androgen receptor (concentrations to 100 micrograms/ml). Based on these results, it is unlikely that these plant extracts would shrink the prostate by inhibiting androgen action or 5 alpha reductase.
PMID: 8381228 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Eur Urol. 1994;26(3):247-52. Links
Comparison of finasteride (Proscar) and Serenoa repens (Permixon) in the inhibition of 5-alpha reductase in healthy male volunteers.
Eclimed Pharmacologie Clinique, Hopital Universitaire Cochin, Paris, France.
A total of 32 healthy male volunteers (age range 20-30 years) were enrolled in a 1-week open, randomized, placebo-controlled study comparing finasteride (Proscar), a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, with Permixon, the plant extract of Serenoa repens. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of single and multiple doses of the drugs on the inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase as assessed by serum dihydrotestosterone level determination. Following baseline measurements on day 1, the subjects were randomized to finasteride 5 mg once a day (n = 10), Permixon 80 mg x 2 twice a day (n = 11), or to placebo once a day (n = 11) for 7 days. Serum testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels, were determined on day 1 (baseline and 12 h) and on days 2 (24 h), 3 (48 h), 4 (72 h), 6 (120 h), and 8 (168 h). After 12 h, a single dose of finasteride 5 mg reduced the serum dihydrotestosterone level by 65% (p < or = 0.01). The decreases ranged from -52 to -60% with multiple doses of finasteride 5 mg once a day (p < or = 0.01). As in the placebo group, there was no effect of Permixon on the serum dihydrotestosterone level. No significant difference was detected between finasteride and Permixon or between finasteride and placebo with respect to serum testosterone, except on days 3 and 6, respectively (p < or = 0.05). However, the corresponding serum testosterone levels remained within the normal ranges. These data confirm the efficacy of finasteride as inhibitor of 5 alpha-reductase.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMID: 7805711 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Prostate. 2006 Feb 1;66(2):115-23. Links
Saw palmetto is an indirectly acting sympathomimetic in the rat-isolated prostate gland.
Prostate Research Co-Operative, Faculty of Pharmacy, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
BACKGROUND: To investigate whether saw palmetto that inhibits alpha1-adrenoceptor binding in vitro affects contractility of the rat prostate gland. METHODS: The effects of a commercially available saw palmetto extract were examined on the contractility of rat-isolated prostate glands. The extract was tested in the presence and absence of phentolamine, prazosin, yohimbine, propranolol, hexamethonium, cocaine, desipramine, nifedipine, guanethidine, atropine, and alpha,beta-methylene ATP to evaluate the mechanism of action. Isolated preparations of rat vas deferens and bladder were used for comparison. RESULTS: Unexpectedly, saw palmetto extract caused contractions of the rat prostate gland that could be attenuated by prazosin, phentolamine, nifedipine, guanethidine, cocaine, and desipramine but not by any of the other pharmacological tools. Similar contractile effects were observed in rat-isolated vas deferens preparations but not in rat-isolated bladder preparations. CONCLUSIONS: In the rat prostate gland, saw palmetto extract causes indirect alpha1-adrenoceptor-mediated contractions via the release of noradrenaline from sympathetic neurons. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
PMID: 16114061 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
: Prostate. 1999 Feb 15;38(3):208-15. Links
Saw palmetto extracts potently and noncompetitively inhibit human alpha1-adrenoceptors in vitro.
Department of Urology, University of Essen, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: We wanted to test whether phytotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms have alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonistic properties in vitro. METHODS: Preparations of beta-sitosterol and extracts of stinging nettle, medicinal pumpkin, and saw palmetto were obtained from several pharmaceutical companies. They were tested for their ability to inhibit [3H]tamsulosin binding to human prostatic alpha1-adrenoceptors and [3H]prazosin binding to cloned human alpha1A- and alpha1B-adrenoceptors. Inhibition of phenylephrine-stimulated [3H]inositol phosphate formation by cloned receptors was also investigated. RESULTS: Up to the highest concentration which could be tested, preparations of beta-sitosterol, stinging nettle, and medicinal pumpkin were without consistent inhibitory effect in all assays. In contrast, all tested saw palmetto extracts inhibited radioligand binding to human alpha1-adrenoceptors and agonist-induced [3H]inositol phosphate formation. Saturation binding experiments in the presence of a single saw palmetto extract concentration indicated a noncompetitive antagonism. The relationship between active concentrations in vitro and recommended therapeutic doses for the saw palmetto extracts was slightly lower than that for several chemically defined alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonists. CONCLUSIONS: Saw palmetto extracts have alpha1-adrenoceptor-inhibitory properties. If bioavailability and other pharmacokinetic properties of these ingredients are similar to those of the chemically defined alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonists, alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonism might be involved in the therapeutic effects of these extracts in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic obstruction.
PMID: 10068345 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]