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J Endocrinol. 1980 Jun;85(3):423-8.

Prostatic induction: interaction of epithelium and mesenchyme from normal wild-type mice and androgen-insensitive mice with testicular feminization.


The prostate gland develops from the urogenital sinus as epithelial buds projecting into the surrounding mesenchyme. The role of the mesenchyme in this process was determined using sinuses from normal and androgen-insensitive Tfm mice which are deficient in androgen receptors. Epithelium and mesenchyme from both types of sinus were separated and recombined and the recombinants grown in organ culture in the presence of testosterone. Recombinants consisting of normal epithelium and normal mesenchyme developed epithelial buds projecting into the surrounding mesenchyme but no buds were formed in recombinants of epithelium and mesenchyme from mutant mice. In recombinants of epithelium from mutant mice with normal mesenchyme the epithelium developed prostatic buds and the number was similar to that found if normal epithelium was associated with normal mesenchyme. In contrast, normal epithelium combined with mesenchyme from mutant mice failed to form prostatic buds. The results suggested that the mesenchyme determines the development of prostatic buds and that the lack of inductive capacity of the mesenchyme from mutant mice may be due to a deficiency of mesenchymal androgen receptors.

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