Prostatic ductal system in rats: Regional variation in stromal organization

Jeffrey A. Nemeth*, Chung Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The rat prostate is composed of a complex system of branching ducts which terminate proximally at the urethra. It has been recognized that epithelial cells lining the ducts respond differently to androgen in various regions of the ducts, with responses ranging from proliferation to apoptosis, but the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are unclear. Interaction between prostatic stroma and epithelium is essential to normal prostate growth and development, and the prostatic stroma is thought to be the first site of androgen action. Therefore we have examined the organization and distribution of stromal cell types along the rat prostatic ductal system. Using immunohistochemical techniques, we observed abundant fibrous tissue surrounding the distal region of the ducts, with a sparse, discontinuous smooth muscle layer. The intermediate region was surrounded by a continuous layer of smooth muscle one to two cells thick, which increased to greater than four layers thick at the proximal region. Fibrous tissue was located in interductal spaces and occasionally interspersed within the muscle layers in both regions. These observations indicate that regional variations in the distribution of stromal cell types exist and suggest that their corresponding secretory products could be responsible for the various effects of androgen on the epithelium in the rat prostatic ductal system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-128
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • actin
  • smooth muscle
  • stromal-epithelial interaction
  • vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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