A study suggesting that Saw Palmetto extract inhibited both type one and two forms of 5 alpha-reductase. The enzyme, 5 alpha-reductase combines with testosterone to form hair destroying DHT (dihydrotestosterone)
TITLE: Human prostatic steroid 5 alpha-reductase isoforms -a comparative study of selective inhibitors.
Iehlé C; Délos S; Guirou O; Tate R; Raynaud JP; Martin PM
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 54: 5-6, 1995 Sep, 273-9
The present study describes the independent expression of the type 1 and 2 isoforms of human 5 alpha-reductase in the baculovirus-directed insect cell expression system and the selectivity of their inhibition. The catalytic properties and kinetic parameters of the recombinant isozymes were consistent with published data. The type 1 isoform displayed a neutral (range 6-8) pH optimum and the type 2 isoform an acidic (5-6) pH optimum. The type 2 isoform had higher affinity for testosterone than did the type 1 isoform (Km = 0.5 and 2.9 microM, respectively). Finasteride and turosteride were selective inhibitors of the type 2 isoform (Ki (type 2) = 7.3 and 21.7 nM compared to Ki (type 1) = 108 and 330 nM, respectively). 4-MA and the lipido-sterol extract of Serenoa repens (LSESr) markedly inhibited both isozymes (Ki (type 1) = 8.4 nM and 7.2 micrograms/ml, respectively; Ki (type 2) = 7.4 nM and 4.9 micrograms/ml, respectively). The three azasteroids were competitive inhibitors vs substrate, whereas LSESr displayed non-competitive inhibition of the type 1 isozyme and uncompetitive inhibition of the type 2 isozyme. These observations suggest that the lipid component of LSESr might be responsible for its inhibitory effect by modulating the membrane environment of 5 alpha-reductase. Partially purified recombinant 5 alpha-reductase type 1 activity was preserved by the presence of lipids indicating that lipids can exert either stimulatory or inhibitory effects on human 5 alpha-reductase.
This study shows Saw Palmetto inhibited the formation of the Testostrone metabolites studied. The DHT metabolite of testosterone is known to cause excess hair loss.
TITLE: Testosterone metabolism in primary cultures of human prostate epithelial cells and fibroblasts.
Délos S; Carsol JL; Ghazarossian E; Raynaud JP; Martin PM
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 55: 3-4, 1995 Dec, 375-83
We compare testosterone (T) metabolism in primary cultures of epithelial cells and fibroblasts separated from benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer tissues. In all cultures, androstenedione (delta 4) formed by oxidation of T by 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17 beta-HSD) represented 80% of the metabolites recovered. The amounts of 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), formed by reduction of T by 5 alpha-reductase (5 alpha-R), were small: 5 and 2% (BPH) and 8 and 15% (adenocarcinoma) for epithelial cells and fibroblasts, respectively. Northern blot analysis of total RNA from epithelial cells (BPH or adenocarcinoma) attributed the reductive activity to the 5 alpha-reductase type 1 isozyme and oxidative activity to the 17 beta-HSD type 2. In cancer fibroblasts, only little 17 beta-HSD type 2 mRNA was detected. The 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, 4-MA (17 beta-(N,N-diethyl)carbamoyl-4-methyl-4-aza-5 alpha-androstan-3-one) and finasteride, inhibited DHT formation with a preferential action of 4-MA on epithelial cells (BPH or adenocarcinoma) and of finasteride on fibroblasts from adenocarcinoma. Neither inhibitor acted on delta 4 formation. On the other hand, the lipido-sterol extract of Serenoa repens (LSESr, Permixon, Saw Palmetto) inhibited the formation of all the T metabolites studied [IC50 S = 40 and 200 micrograms/ml (BPH) and 90 and 70 micrograms/ml (adenocarcinoma) in epithelial cells and fibroblasts, respectively]. These results have important therapeutic implications when selecting appropriate treatment options for BPH.