Pregnancy is characterized by hormonal changes, critical for the mother’s physiological adaptation, exercising a role in the fetus’s development, maintenance, protection, and nutrition. Since born, the neuroendocrine system’s involvement is necessary to prevent the embryo from being rejected by the mother’s immune system. These changes are regulated by fluctuations in hormones such as Progesterone, Testosterone, Androstenedione, Dehydroepiandrosterone, Estradiol, Prolactin, human Placental Lactogen, human Chorionic Gonadotropin, and Thyroid hormones, which promote the mother’s development and the fetus (maternal-fetal development). Therefore, given the great importance of these hormones during pregnancy, this chapter will explain the preclinical and clinical participation of sex hormones in maternal-fetal development.
Part of the book: Reproductive Hormones
The prostate secretes 20% of the seminal fluid. One of its main pathologies is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the most common benign disease in older men. It has an 8–10% prevalence in men 40 years of age and older, increasing to more than 90% in men over 90 years, with lower urinary tract symptoms being one of its main complications. Although the etiology of BPH is not still fully known, testosterone and estradiol have shown a permissive role. Likewise, other factors have emerged, such as inflammation, growth factors, and prolactin, which influence the development of BPH. These factors act through binding to specific receptors, intervening in BPH and prostate cancer development. Existing treatments significantly reduce clinical symptoms, including lower urinary tract symptoms. However, it is a nonpreventable disease; some factors can reduce its incidence: diet, physical activity, and moderate consumption of alcohol and tobacco, some of which have been proposed to have a protective role. Therefore, this chapter aims to update the preclinical and clinical evidence on the etiology of this disease, briefly describing the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and therapeutic and preventive modalities in managing BPH.
Part of the book: Molecular Mechanisms in Cancer
Estrogens are steroid hormones that act through their receptors (ER) α and β. They are involved mainly in female physiology but, in males, influence the homeostasis of some tissues like the prostate. In this organ, estrogens promote or limit cell proliferation depending on the activated receptor, with implications for the pathophysiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa). ERα promotes proliferation while ER β is a protective factor against proliferative diseases. However, in the advanced stages of PCa, ERβ has a permissive role in prostate cells, increasing patient mortality. These effects are mediated by activating androgen-independent signaling pathways that promote proliferation. Another essential aspect of ER actions is the regulation of its expression. Steroid hormones participate in this process, but some non-steroid factors, like environment and epigenetic marks, influence the prostate’s physiopathology. Knowledge of these and other aspects of estrogenic action in the prostate will contribute to developing strategies for treating and preventing BPH and PCa. For this reason, this chapter will review the main aspects of estrogens’ permissive role in prostate diseases.
Part of the book: Estrogens