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Prostate. 1998 May;35(2):125-34.

Basic FGF, EGF, and PDGF modify TGFbeta-induction of smooth muscle cell phenotype in human prostatic stromal cells.

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Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5118, USA.



We investigated the ability of a variety of growth factors to regulate the differentiation of prostatic fibroblasts into smooth muscle cells.


Smooth muscle actin levels were monitored by immunoblot analysis and immunocytochemistry. Proliferation was measured in clonal growth assays and by cell counts.


We determined that TGFbeta inhibited proliferation and induced smooth muscle differentiation of stromal cells derived from prostatic adenocarcinomas, as we previously reported for cells derived from the normal peripheral zone. Basic FGF, EGF, TGFalpha, and PDGF, but not IGF, retinoic acid, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, or androgen, attenuated induction of differentiation by TGFbeta, by a mechanism apparently unrelated to proliferation.


Regulation of growth and differentiation occurs equivalently in prostatic stromal cells derived from adenocarcinomas and normal peripheral zone. TGFbeta is a potent inducer of the smooth muscle phenotype. Basic FGF, EGF and/or TGFalpha, and PDGF attenuate TGFbeta's activity, and promote a fibroblastic phenotype. Our studies provide an in vitro model system in which fibroblastic or smooth muscle cells can be promoted, maintained, and investigated in a defined manner. The results suggest that the ratio of fibroblasts to smooth muscle cells in the stroma reflects the relative levels of growth factors, which may be altered in diseased states.

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