Molecular & Cellular Toxicology

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 211–220 | Cite as

Igongsan reduces testosterone-induced benign prostate hyperplasia by regulating 5α-reductase in rats

  • JongWook Kang
  • Geun Hyuk Lee
  • Yunu Jung
  • Dong Hyun Youn
  • Seona Lim
  • Jinbong Park
  • Jae Young Um
Original Paper



Igongsan (IGS) is a traditional Korean herbal medication composed of five different herbs; Citri Unshius Pericarpium, Poria Sclerotium, Glycyrrhizae Radix et Rhizoma, Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba, and Ginseng Radix. In this study, we evaluated the effect of IGS on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a disease resulting from a noncancerous size increase of the prostate which is common in aging men.


We induced BPH by a 4-week daily injection of testosterone propionate and investigated the effects IGS on BPH. After pre-treatment, the rats were divided into four groups and treated by each drugs for 4 weeks. Histological alteration was observed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Type-2 5α-reductase (5AR-2), androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) were confirmed by western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry staining.


IGS reduced the enlarged prostate and prostatic index, while the epithelium thickness and enlarged lumen area returned to their normal state in BPH-induced rats. In particular, 5AR-2, which is a major target for BPH medication, was inhibited by IGS. IGS also regulated the factors including AR and ERα to interact with 5AR-2. Consequently, PSA, a major diagnostic marker for BPH, was suppressed by IGS treatment.


Based on our findings, this study shows that IG S can alleviate BPH by regulating 5AR, suggesting its potential as a new, effective medication for BPH treatment.


Benign prostate hyperplasia Igongsan Type-2 5α-reductase Androgen receptor Estrogen receptor α Prostate specific antigen 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Toxicogenomics and Toxicoproteomics and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • JongWook Kang
    • 1
  • Geun Hyuk Lee
    • 2
  • Yunu Jung
    • 1
  • Dong Hyun Youn
    • 1
  • Seona Lim
    • 2
  • Jinbong Park
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jae Young Um
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Science in Korean Medicine, Graduate SchoolKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, College of Korean Medicine and Basic Research Laboratory for Comorbidity RegulationKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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