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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 377-381

Vitamin D receptor as a therapeutic target for benign prostatic hyperplasia

1 Division of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, James Cancer Center, Tzagournis MRF 544, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
2 Center for Childhood Cancer (WA5109, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, 43205, USA
3 Department of Pathology; Molecular Cancer Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA

Correspondence Address:
Hemant K Bid
Center for childhood cancer (WA-5109) The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital 700 Children's Drive Columbus, OH
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.105745

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The bioactive form of vitamin D, 1α, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α, 25(OH)2D3), is a secosteroid hormone that binds to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a member of the nuclear receptor super-family expressed in many cell types, and modulates a variety of biological functions. 1α, 25(OH)2D3 is essential for bone and mineral homeostasis, but also regulates growth and differentiation of multiple cell types, and displays immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory activities. The antiproliferative, prodifferentiative, antibacterial, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of synthetic VDR agonists could be exploited to treat a variety of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It has been hypothesized that VDR may influence both the risk of a variety of diseases and their occurrence and prognosis. However, earlier studies investigating the associations between specific VDR polymorphisms and various diseases often show controversial results. We performed a systematic review of the current literature on vitamin D and BPH using the PubMed and Web of Knowledge databases. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on the utility of the VDR gene regarding prostate growth as well as the pathogenesis and treatment of BPH, a complex syndrome characterized by a static component related to prostate overgrowth, a dynamic component responsible for urinary storage symptoms, and an inflammatory component. Despite the massive advances in recent decades, further research is needed to fully characterize the exact underlying mechanisms of VDR action on BPH and to comprehend how these cellular changes translate into clinical development in physical concert.

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