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Effects of pre and postnatal corticotherapy on adult rat prostate morphophysiology

Grant number: 10/06572-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2010 - May 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology
Principal Investigator:Sérgio Luis Felisbino
Grantee:Sérgio Luis Felisbino
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Oduvaldo Câmara Marques Pereira ; Renee Laufer Amorim ; Wilma de Grava Kempinas

Abstract

Adverse pregnancy conditions may lead to irreversible morphofunctional changes in the fetus, a phenomenon known as Fetal Programming. In this sense, prenatal corticotherapy, widely used to promote the acceleration of fetal lung maturity when there is risk of preterm delivery, may be considered a model of Fetal Programming. Rats exposed to prenatal corticotherapy with betamethasone showed low levels of glucocorticoids and testosterone in adulthood, drawing attention to permanent alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis arising from this therapy. Additionally, high levels of corticosteroids during the last trimester of pregnancy can suppress the plasma peak of testosterone in male fetuses that occurs during this period. Thus, the masculinization process is impaired altering, among other parameters, the androgen-dependent structures such as the prostate gland. Furthermore, there is the wide use of corticosteroids on treatment for allergies and other inflammatory processes. Nevertheless this use occurs so often, there are no studies addressing the possible responses of the organism against a second exposure to glucocorticoids. Considering the great medical and scientific relevance of the prostate due to the increased incidence of benign and malignant lesions in this organ, this study aims: to evaluate the effects of fetal programming by in utero exposure to betamethasone, and the possible additional effects caused by a new exposure during puberty on the morphophysiology of pubertal and adult rat prostates. For this, morphological, morphometric, cytochemical, immunocytochemical and biochemical analysis on these prostates will be done. (AU)