T Nation

Forskolin and Prostate Cancer?


I was reading in various places on the Web about how forskolin is thought to be a risky thing to take with regard to it possibly being able to induce (or aggravate) prostate cancer (which runs in my family, so it is a concern of mine).

Does anyone with more scientific knowledge than me have any input with regard to that? Thanks.

(Here's part of a writeup I found that mentions it):

"In cultured GnRH producing hypothalamic neurons, forskolin increased GnRH pulsatile secretion in a dose dependent manner: 1 to 100 microM of forskolin led to a 2 to 35 fold increase in GnRH. Forskolin also acts on the testes to increase testosterone production by increasing levels of StAR, the cholesterol transport protein that initiates the first step in the chain of biosynthetic events leading from cholesterol to testosterone production.

Although not increasing testosterone, forskolin, via cAMP, elevates PKA. This kinase phosphorylates both the androgen receptor and several associated transcription factors, leading to stronger binding between the AR/ligand complex and the target gene's ARE. This leads to significantly enhanced trancription of androgen responsive genes in a number of tissues. In fact, remarkably, with appropriately phosphorylated AR and transcription factors, ligand not need even be present for transcription to occur. This latter phenomenon, unfortunately, is a major way hormone independent prostate cancer develops.

But the AR need not be mutant (as in tumors) for ligand independent transcription to proceed. Forskolin phosphorylated wild type AR and transcription factors are fully capable of carrying out transcription in a number of cell types."