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Background: The most significant risk factor for developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an advanced age. As BPH and aberrant changes in reactive oxygen species become more common with ageing, oxygen species signalling may play an important role in the development and progression of this disease. In this study, we investigated the effect of Nigerian indigenous plant; Vernonia amygdalina (VA) on oxidative stress indices in BPH induced rats.
Methods: BPH was induced in male rats weighing 200-300 g by exogenous administration of testosterone and estradiol via subcutaneous injection at a dose of 400 µg/kg testosterone (T) and 80 µg/kg estradiol (E2) respectively. Thirty (30) rats were divided into five groups. One group was used as a normal control, and the other groups received subcutaneous injections of the hormones for 3 weeks to induce BPH. Groups I and II were treated with different doses of VA extract (50 and 100 mg kg–1 body weight respectively) and group III received finasteride (0.1 mg kg–1), all by gavages for forty-two days, while group IV was left untreated, group V served as normal control. After forty-two days of treatment with VA extract, the rats were anaesthetised by short contact with trichloromethane vapour. Blood was collected by cardiac puncture and the sera centrifuged and used for the determination of different biochemical indices. The liver and kidney were harvested and homogenised and used for the assays of oxidative activities.
Results: The activities of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the extract treated rats were significantly increased when compared the BPH control which had a significant reduction in the activities of these enzymes. The concentration of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the extract treated group significantly (P<0.05) increased while thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) concentration decreased when compared to BPH control group.
Conclusion: Human prostate tissue is vulnerable to oxidative damage due to more rapid cell turnover. Therefore Vernonia amygdalina can be used to reduce oxidative stress which was implicated in the pathogenesis of BPH.