EVOLUTION OF NEUROENDOCRINE CELL POPULATION AND PEPTIDERGIC INNERVATION, ASSESSED BY DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS, DURING POSTNATAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE RAT PROSTATE
Serotonin immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells and peptidergic nerves (NPY and VIP) could have a role in prostate growth and function. In the present study, rats grouped by stages of postnatal development (prepubertal, pubertal, young and aged adults) were employed in order to ascertain whether age causes changes in the number of serotoninergic neuroendocrine cells and the length of NPY and VIP fibres. Discriminant analysis was performed in order to ascertain the classificatory power of stereologic variables (absolute and relative measurements of cell number and fibre length) on age groups. The following conclusions were drawn: a) discriminant analysis confirms the androgen-dependence of both neuroendocrine cells and NPYVIP innervation during the postnatal development of the rat prostate; b) periglandular innervation has more relevance than interglandular innervation in classifying the rats in age groups; and c) peptidergic nerves from ventral, ampullar and periductal regions were more age-dependent than nerves from the dorso-lateral region.
androgen-dependence; discriminant analysis; neuroendocrine cells; NPY; peptidergic fibres; rat prostate; serotonin; VIP
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