BACKGROUND. The development and progression of prostate neoplasia may recapitulate the early developmental pattern of expression of genes in the prostate. The study of prostate development may, therefore, provide insights into the molecular mechanisms important in prostate neoplasia and reveal new markers. METHODS. We compared postnatal expression of four genes: neu and epidermal growth factor receptor genes (EGFR), androgen-upregulated in the ventral prostate of adult rats (C-3), and androgen-repressed (CK8) in Sprague-Dawley rats. In situ hybridization was performed on prostate frozen sections collected on postnatal days 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60 from five rats per day. Staining intensities for antisense probes specific for each gene were determined relative to day 1 intensity. RESULTS. Growth factor receptors including neu and EGFR may be coordinately regulated in the basal-cell population during prostate development. CK8 and C-3 show evidence of similar androgen regulation during development. CONCLUSIONS. CK8 and C-3 have distinct patterns of expression in the postnatal period of development and these genes may be good markers of differentiation. Both neu and EGFR may be involved in androgen-independent growth of basal cell population in prostate.
- C-erb B2/neu
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Prostate development
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