Female Prostate Development: Morphological Analysis of the Budding Dynamic
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The presence of the prostate in female mammals has long been known. However, pieces of information related to its development are still lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the budding dynamic during the initial prostate development in female gerbils. Pregnant females were timed, the fetuses were euthanized, and the urogenital sinus was dissected out between the embryonic days 20 and 24 (E20-E24 groups). Newborn pups (1-day-old; P1 group) underwent the same procedures. The female prostate development was based on epithelial buds which arose far from the paraurethral mesenchyme (PAM). The epithelial buds reached the PAM at prenatal day 24, crossing a small gap in the smooth muscle layer between the periurethral mesenchyme (PEM) and the PAM. Steroid nuclear receptors such as the androgen receptor and estrogen receptor alpha were localized in the PEM through the urethral wall, although some epithelial labeling was also present in the urogenital sinus epithelium (UGE). P63-positive cells were found only in the UGE, becoming restricted to the basal compartment after the 23rd prenatal day. The results showed that the gerbil female prostate exhibits a distinct budding pattern as compared to the male prostate development.