A BAD COMBINATION: DIFFERENT CELL TYPES, PLUS TIGHTENING MUSCLE
BPH involves different kinds of cells, and their growth seems to be stimulated by many factors. (This is frustrating for researchers seeking treatment for BPH, because what works on one group of cells may have little effect on another.)
BPH is not merely a matter of prostate cells on the rampage; the problem involves two kinds of tissue. One is glandular tissue, made up of epithelial cells, which secrete fluid that becomes part of the semen. The other is smooth muscle tissue, made up of stromal cells, which contract automatically to launch these secretions out of the prostate and into the urethra. This is the same kind of tissue found in the walls of the intestines and in blood vessels; the actions of this tissue are involuntary responses to signals from the nervous system. Because this dynamic, nerve-rich tissue is easily stimulated, it seems to be set off by the glandular cell build-up in BPH, and it responds with varying degrees of tension. So, together, these prostate cells act as a «double whammy» on the urethra: As the glandular tissue enlarges and begins to clog the urethra, the smooth muscle tissue tightens, and clamps the urethra.