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J Histochem Cytochem. 1985 May;33(5):415-26.

Cytokeratin polypeptide patterns of different epithelia of the human male urogenital tract: immunofluorescence and gel electrophoretic studies.


Intermediate filament proteins of normal epithelia of the human and the bovine male urogenital tract and of certain human renal and bladder carcinomas have been studied by immunofluorescence microscopy and by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of cytoskeletal fractions from microdissected tissue samples. The patterns of expression of cytokeratin polypeptides differ in the various epithelia. Filaments of a cytokeratin nature have been identified in all true epithelial cells of the male urogenital tract, including renal tubules and rete testis. Simple epithelia of renal tubules and collecting ducts of kidney, as well as rete testis, express only cytokeratin polypeptides nos. 7, 8, 18, and 19. In contrast, the transitional epithelia of renal pelvis, ureter, bladder, and proximal urethra contain, in addition to those polypeptides, cytokeratin no. 13 and small amounts of nos. 4 and 5. Most epithelia lining the human male reproductive tract, including those in the epididymis, ductus deferens, prostate gland, and seminal vesicle, synthesize cytokeratin no. 5 in addition to cytokeratins nos. 7, 8, 18, and 19 (cytokeratin no. 7 had not been detected in the prostate gland). Cytokeratin no. 17 has also been identified, but in very low amounts, in seminal vesicle and epididymis. The cytokeratin patterns of the urethra correspond to the gradual transition of the pseudostratified epithelium of the pars spongiosa (cytokeratins nos. 4, 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, and 19) to the stratified squamous epithelium of the fossa navicularis (cytokeratins nos. 5, 6, 10/11, 13, 15, and 19, and minor amounts of nos. 1 and 14). The noncornified stratified squamous epithelium of the glans penis synthesizes cytokeratin nos. 1, 5, 6, 10/11, 13, 14, 15, and 19. In immunofluorescence microscopy, selective cytokeratin antibodies reveal differential staining of different groups or layers of cells in several epithelia that may relate to the specific expression of cytokeratin polypeptides. Human renal cell carcinomas show a simple cytokeratin pattern consisting of cytokeratins nos. 8, 18, and 19, whereas transitional cell carcinomas of the bladder reveal additional cytokeratins such as nos. 5, 7, 13, and 17 in various proportions. The results shows that the wide spectrum of histological differentiation of the diverse epithelia present in the male urogenital tract is accompanied by pronounced changes in the expression of cytokeratin polypeptides and suggest that tumors from different regions of the urogenital tract may be distinguished by their cytokeratin complements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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