Subprojeto 11 – Interactions between epithelial and smooth muscle cells during the development of the prostate gland in vitro

Participantes: Rony Nunes, Alexandre Brunni-Cardoso, Hernandes F. Carvalho

The control of both growth and functioning of the prostatic gland is based on a complex network of interactions between steroid hormondes and their receptors and on intricated interconversion among them, besides paracrine interactions between the epithelial and stromal cells. The ventral prostate of rodents exhibit three growth and development phases. The second one takes place in the perinatal period and is atributed to a testosterone surge at birth. In this phase, epithelial structures grow up and branch and are canalized. A recent publication from our laboratory demonstrated that matrix metalloproteinase 2, 7 and 9 are specially important in these processes (Bruni-Cardoso et al., Histochem Cell Biol. 129: 805, 2008). Considering the dynamic of the different tissue components and prostate physiology during development, the objective of this project is to identify cell-cell interactions mechanisms responsible for the gland morphogenesis, as well as molecular components involved, with emphasis on TGF-???In this sense, we will use epithelial and smooth muscle cell mixed cultures in 3D matrices, trying to follow their behavior isolatedly or in conjunct to achieve ductal morphology, using multiphoton microscopy and 3D reconstruction of long term cultures, in association with other parameters of the arrangement of collagen fibrils in the matrix, by SHG, and other cell physiological parameters, as assessed by CARS and/or FLIM.