Testosterone exposure in prenatal life disrupts epithelial nuclear morphology, smooth muscle layer pattern, and FGF10 and Shh expression in prostate

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Elsevier B.V.



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The aim of this study was to evaluate whether high levels of exogenous testosterone (T) interfere in prostate morphogenesis. Pregnant females were exposed to subcutaneous injections of T cypionate (500 mu g/animal) at gestational days 20 and 22. Male and female pups were euthanized at postnatal days 1 and 15. 15-day-old males had only fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10) immunostaining and nuclear form factor altered by the treatment, whereas treated females (T1 and T15) had almost all analyzed parameters changed. T1 females showed an increased anogenital distance (AGD), whereas T15 females had both AGD and ovary weight increased. T1 females had a higher number of epithelial buds emerging from the urethral and vaginal epithelium. We observed ectopic prostatic tissue surrounding the vagina in both T1 and T15 females. Moreover, the ectopic acini of T15 females showed delayed luminal formation, and there was a thickening of the periacinar smooth muscle layer (SML). Finally, FGF10 immunostaining intensity decreased in both T15 male and female prostates. Indeed, Sonic hedgehog (Shh) was upregulated in T15 female prostates, whereas no difference was observed between the male groups. These data showed that exogenous T changed the nuclear morphology of prostate epithelial cells in both males and females. Surprisingly, smooth muscle hyperplasia was also observed in the ectopic female prostate. Moreover, T downregulated FGF10 in both male and female prostates. Interestingly, the results suggest that FGF10 downregulation is mediated by the upregulation of Shh in females. In conclusion, exogenous T disrupts prostate development, particularly, affecting, the female.




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Life Sciences. Oxford: Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd, v. 271, 10 p., 2021.

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