Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the most common urologic disease in men over age 50. Symptoms include acute urinary retention, urgency to urinate and nocturia. For patients with severe symptoms, surgical treatment is used to remove the affected tissue. Interestingly, the presence of histologic BPH does not always correlate with symptoms. The molecular basis of symptomatic BPH and how it differs from asymptomatic BPH is unknown. Investigation into the molecular players involved in symptomatic BPH will likely give insight into novel therapeutic, and potentially preventative, targets. We determined the expression of genes involved in the innate anti-viral immune response in tissues from patients undergoing surgery to alleviate the symptoms of BPH, and compared the results with prostate tissue with histologic BPH, but from patients with few urinary issues (asymptomatic BPH). We found that expression of complement factor I, apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like protein 3G, oligoadenylate synthetase 2 and interferon-induced tetratricopeptide 1, four genes whose protein products are involved in the innate anti-viral immune response, was significantly transcriptionally upregulated in symptomatic BPH. Additionally, we observe hypomethylation and concomitant expression of ancient retroviral-like sequences, the long interspersed nuclear element 1 retrotransposons, in symptomatic BPH when compared with normal prostate tissue. These findings merit further investigation into the anti-viral immune response in symptomatic BPH.
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