Determination of prostatic secretion in rats: Effect of neurotransmitters and testosterone

Jin‐Min ‐M Wang, Kevin E. McKenna, Chung Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


To study the neuronal and hormonal control of prostatic secretion, the prostatic urethra was cannulated in urethane anesthetized rats. The volume of prostatic secretion was measured following infusion of cholinergic and adrenergic agonists in intact animals. Prostatic secretion was elicited by norepinephrine, phenylephrine, and carbachol; but not by clonidine, isoproterenol, pilocarpine, or acetylcholine. Phenylephrine and norepinephrine infusions caused a high initial rate of secretion, which then declined rapidly. Carbachol infusion, in contrast, produced a low but constant rate of secretion that was maintained for up to 1 hour. Histological examination of the prostate revealed contraction of smooth muscle surrounding prostatic ducts after infusion of phenylephrine and norepinephrine, but not carbachol. Prostatic secretion was also measured in castrated rats supplemented with various doses of testosterone. Testosterone exerted a dose dependent control of prostatic weight and secretory volume. These results indicate 1) α 1 receptor agonists can cause contraction of smooth muscle to expel fluid from the rat prostate, 2) carbachol induces prostatic secretion through a mechanism other than contraction of gland, and 3) testosterone has a primary role in controlling prostatic size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-301
Number of pages13
JournalThe Prostate
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • adrenergic agonists
  • autonomic control
  • cholinergic agonists
  • seminal fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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