Oestrogen supplementation following castration promotes stromal remodelling and histopathological alterations in the Mongolian gerbil ventral prostate
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The effect of oestradiol on the intact and castrated adult gerbil prostate was evaluated by focussing on stromal and epithelial disorders, and hormonal receptor immunoreactivity. The experimental animals were studied by histological, histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques, morphometric-stereological analysis and transmission electron microscopy. Epithelial alterations in the oestradiol-treated animals were frequent, with an increase in epithelial cell height, areas of intense dysplasia and hyperplasia and formation of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Another aspect that did not depend on the presence of testosterone was the arrangement of the fibrillar and non-fibrillar elements of the extracellular matrix among smooth muscle cells (SMC), suggesting a possible role of these cells in rearrangement and synthesis of these components, after oestrogenic treatment. In the castrated animals, an accumulation of extracellular matrix elements under the epithelium was evident, while in the intact animals the same compounds were dispersed and scarce. In the groups of intact and castrated animals, SMC and fibroblasts exhibited a secretory phenotype, which was accentuated after oestradiol administration. There was an increase of the immunoreactivity to alpha-oestrogen and androgen receptors in hyperplastic areas compared to normal epithelium, revealing the involvement of these steroid receptors in the hyperplasia and PIN development.