A recent study suggests a link between the estrogen receptor 2 (ESR2) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The study, published in the Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine journal, is entitled “Association between polymorphisms of estrogen receptor 2 and benign prostatic hyperplasia.”
The exact cause of BPH is still unknown, but the female hormone estrogen — mediated by two estrogen receptors (ESR1 and ESR2), also produced in men — has been suggested to play a role in prostate growth. Both ESR1 and ESR2 have distinct physical characteristics, with ESR1 usually located in the connective tissue of the prostate and ESR2 primarily expressed in the major cavities. However, their exact roles in prostate growth and the development of BPH have not yet been defined.
In this study, researchers investigated for the first time whether ESR2 is a risk factor in predisposition to BPH. To answer the question, they conducted a study using 94 BPH patients and 79 controls. The participants were examined and tested by measure of prostate volumes, serum prostate‑specific antigen level (PSA), International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), peak urinary flow rate (Qmax), and average urinary flow rate (Qavg). Their samples were also genetically analyzed.
The results suggested that when compared to the control group, the mean prostate volume in the BPH group was significantly higher. Also, IPSS, PSA, Qmax, and Qavg were higher in the BPH patients when compared to controls. Finally, genetic sequencing of four types of genetic variants, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), of the ESR2 estrogen receptor revealed that three of them were linked to BPH. Minor gene variants of these SNPs raised the risk of BPH, and a combination of these variants showed a significant association with BPH.
Overall, the findings suggest that the ESR2 gene may be linked to a predisposition to BPH development. The researchers recommend that a large-scale study be conducted to confirm and further clarify these results.