Structural and ultrastructural evidence for telocytes in prostate stroma

Authors

  • Lara S. Corradi,

    1. Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Mariana M. Jesus,

    1. Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Ricardo A. Fochi,

    1. Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Patricia S. L. Vilamaior,

    1. Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Luis A. Justulin- Jr,

    1. Department of Morphology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Department of Morphology, Institute of Biology (IB), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Rejane M. Góes,

    1. Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Sérgio L. Felisbino,

    1. Department of Morphology, Institute of Biology (IB), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Sebastião R. Taboga

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (IBILCE), Univ. Estadual Paulista – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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Correspondence to: Dr. Sebastião Roberto TABOGA, Departamento de Biologia - Ibilce/Unesp, Rua Cristóvão Colombo, 2265 Jardim Nazareth, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo CEP 15054-000, Brazil.

Tel: +55 17 3221-2386

Fax: +55 17 32212390

E-mail: taboga@ibilce.unesp.br

Abstract

The prostate comprises a glandular epithelium embedded within a fibromuscular stroma. The stroma is a complex arrangement of cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components in addition to growth factors, regulatory molecules, remodelling enzymes, blood vessels, nerves and immune cells. The principal sources of ECM components are fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells (SMC), which synthesize the structural and regulatory components of the ECM. Telocytes (TCs) were recently described as a novel stromal cell type that exhibited characteristic features. The aim of this study was to confirm the presence of TCs in prostate stromal tissue of gerbils, as the stromal compartment of this gland is a dynamic microenvironment. We used transmission electron microscopy (TEM), light microscopy and immunohistochemistry methods to provide morphological evidence for the presence of TCs. Cells that resembled TCs were observed in gerbil prostatic stroma. These cells had small cellular bodies with very thin and extremely long cellular processes. They were found primarily in the subepithelial area and also at the periphery of SMC layers. TCs also exhibited moniliform processes, caveolae and nuclei surrounded by small amounts of cytoplasm. Close contacts between TC podomers were evident, particularly in the adjacent epithelial compartment. This morphological evidence supported the presence of TCs in the gerbil prostatic stroma, which we report for the first time.

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