The incidence of certain cancers, including prostate cancer, is considerably higher in western countries than in
Southeast Asia. Many studies have linked soy consumption to the lower incidence of prostate cancer in these countries.
Twenty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized and divided into a control group and a group treated with soy. The
ventral prostates of each animal were sectioned and stained with hematoxilin-eosin for morphological description and
immunostained to detect PCNA, cleaved caspase 3 and E-cadherin immunoreactivities. Estimates of the number of total
epithelial cells and the number of epithelial cells immunoreactive to PCNA and cleaved caspase 3 were calculated using
the optical disector technique. Measurement of E-cadherin was carried out by calculating the volume fraction of epithelium
immunostained by E-cadherin. Soy treated group showed atrophy in the epithelium and a diminished expression of
PCNA, cleaved caspase 3 and E-cadherin, which means there is a reduced cell proliferation, apoptosis through caspases
way and cell adherence. It can be concluded that soy treatment induces atrophy in the epithelium by reducing cell proliferation.