Several observations suggest that caveolin-1 has an important role in control of cell proliferation and cancerogenesis. For instance, oxytocin provokes a proliferative response in the prostate tissue when the oxytocin receptor is localized mainly in caveolin-1-enriched domains and an anti-proliferative effect when the same receptor is not localized in caveolae. Moreover, oxytocin concentrations are elevated in prostate tissue of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In this study the expression pattern of the molecules caveolin-1, oxytocin receptor, androgen receptor and p21 (cell cycle arrest indicator) was investigated in the prostate tissue of BPH patients and of young controls.We found that both caveolin-1 and oxytocin receptor expression is drastically increased with age in both smooth muscle and epithelium of the prostate. We also found a significantly increased co-localization of the oxytocin receptor with caveolin-1 in both the muscle and the epithelium, especially in BPH patients. Androgen receptor and p21 staining was found throughout the prostate but did not change significantly with age or in BPH patients.We conclude that oxytocin may have a proliferative effect on the prostate tissue through the caveolae-associated receptors and thus contribute to BPH. This process seems to be androgen receptor independent. © 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation 2007 Blackwell Verlag.