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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1984 May;108(5):423-5.

Homology between the female paraurethral (Skene's) glands and the prostate. Immunohistochemical demonstration.


Homology between female paraurethral glands and the prostate has often been suggested. A means was developed that would lend histochemical support to this hypothesis. Female urethra from autopsy and surgical material was serially sectioned and studied in 19 patients ranging in age from newborn to 86 years. Paraurethral glands were identified in 18 of these. The tissue was stained with antibodies to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate-specific acid phosphatase (PSAcPh) using the peroxidase-antiperoxidase method. Of those cases in which paraurethral glands were seen, 83% were positive for PSA and 67% for PSAcPh. Intensity of staining was semi-quantitatively evaluated. In addition, intraluminal secretions and urethral columnar epithelium showed positive enzyme and antigen staining. There was no discernible variation of glandular development or pattern of staining with patient age. This study demonstrates the homologous nature of the female paraurethral glands and the prostate and supports speculations about functional similarity.

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