We previously showed that ergosterol has an inhibitory effect on bladder carcinogenesis. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which ergosterol inhibits bladder carcinogenesis using a rat model of N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine-induced bladder cancer. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression level of the cell cycle-related gene cyclin D1 and inflammation-related gene cyclooxygenase-2 in bladder epithelial cells was significantly increased in the carcinogenesis group compared with the control group. In contrast, in ergosterol-treated rats, these increases were significantly suppressed. Ergosterol did not affect the plasma testosterone concentration or the binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptor (AR). The mRNA expression levels of 5α-reductase type 2 and AR were higher in the carcinogenesis group than in the control group but were significantly decreased by ergosterol administration. These results suggest that ergosterol inhibits bladder carcinogenesis by modulating various aspects of the cell cycle, inflammation-related signaling, and androgen signaling. Future clinical application of the preventive effect of ergosterol on bladder carcinogenesis is expected.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited