Localized matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activity in the rat ventral prostate during the first week of postnatal development
MetadataShow full item record
The initial events in prostatic morphogenesis involve cell proliferation, epithelial canalization and outgrowth toward the stroma. We have hypothesized that stromal rearrangement takes place at the sites of epithelial growth and branching and that this rearrangement involves the action of gelatinases matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to characterize structural aspects of epithelial growth during the first week of postnatal development of the rat ventral prostate and to investigate the expression, localization and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 during this period by histological, ultrastructural and immunocytochemical analysis, in addition to gel zymography, in situ zymography and Western blotting. An increasing complexity of prostatic architeture was observed within the first postnatal week. Concurrently, the stroma became more organized and some cells differentiated into smooth muscle cells. Reticulin fibers appeared in a basket-like arrangement around both growing tips and epithelial sprouts, associated with a fainter staining for laminin. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities were detected. MMP-2/MMP-9 expression decreased during the first week. Developing epithelial cords showed strong and difuse gelatinolytic activity. This activity coincided with the distribution of MMP-2 as determined by immunocytochemistry. on the other hand, MMP-9 was rather concentrated at the epithelial tips. These results suggest that gelatinolytic activity (with contribution of both MMP-2 and MMP-9) in the epithelium and at the epithelium-stroma interface are at least in part responsible for the tissue remodeling that allows epithelial growth and its projection into the surrounding stroma.