European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 1201–1210 | Cite as

Flaxseed reduces epithelial proliferation but does not affect basal cells in induced benign prostatic hyperplasia in rats

  • Ilma Cely de Amorim Ribeiro
  • Carlos Alberto Soares da Costa
  • Vivian Alves Pereira da Silva
  • Lanna Beatriz Neves Silva Côrrea
  • Gilson Teles Boaventura
  • Mauricio Alves ChagasEmail author
Original Contribution



This study aimed to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the effects of a flaxseed-based diet on the histoarchitecture of the prostate of normal Wistar rats and of rats with induced BPH.


The study included four experimental groups of ten animals each: casein control group (CCG), who were fed a casein-based diet; flaxseed control group (FCG), who were fed a flaxseed-based diet; hyperplasia-induced casein group (HICG), who were fed a casein-based diet; and hyperplasia-induced flaxseed group (HIFG), who were fed a flaxseed-based diet. Hyperplasia was induced by the subcutaneous implantation of silicone pellets containing testosterone propionate. After 20 weeks, the rats were euthanized and their prostate fixed in buffered formalin. Tissue sections were stained with HE, picrosirius red and immunostained for nuclear antigen p63. Histomorphometric analysis evaluated the epithelial thickness, epithelial area, individual luminal area, and total area of prostatic alveoli.


The mean epithelial thickness obtained for HIFG and HICG was 16.52 ± 1.65 and 20.58 ± 2.86 µm, respectively. The mean epithelial thickness in HICG was greater than that in the other groups tested. HIFG had a smaller epithelial thickness and lower percentage of papillary projections in the prostatic alveoli. No significant difference was observed between CCG and FCG. The total area and mean alveolar area showed no significant differences between the groups. The number of cells immunostained for p63 was not significantly different between the groups evaluated.


These results suggest that flaxseed has a protective effect on the prostate epithelium in BPH-induced animals.


Prostate Rats Benign prostatic hyperplasia Diet Flaxseed 



This work was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilma Cely de Amorim Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Carlos Alberto Soares da Costa
    • 2
  • Vivian Alves Pereira da Silva
    • 1
  • Lanna Beatriz Neves Silva Côrrea
    • 1
  • Gilson Teles Boaventura
    • 2
  • Mauricio Alves Chagas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Morphology, Laboratory of Cellular and Extracellular Biomorphology Biomedic InstituteFederal Fluminense UniversityRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Experimental Nutrition Laboratory, College of NutritionFederal Fluminense UniversityRio de JaneiroBrazil

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