Adverse gestational conditions can lead to irreversible morphofunctional changes in the fetus, a phenomenon known as Fetal Programming (FP). Epidemiological and experimental studies have shown that FP is related to changes in the development of various organs in special organs that have their development under hormonal control, between these organs are the prostate and the epididymis, which has its initial development by budding and wrapping respectively. Prostate development begins around gestational day 17th in mice and 18 in rats, the events of cell proliferation and differentiation leading to prostatic morphogenesis are complex and regulated by the paracrine interaction between the epithelial-stroma modulated by the expression of genes in a precisely coordinated spatial and temporal sequence, and the epididymis grows from Wolffian duct, at approximately gestational day 8 or 9 in the mouse, develops as a cord of epithelial cells, this is not simply an elongation event, the epididymal tube is folded into a highly-organized structure comprised of many lobules/segments, each with distinct morphology and function, that can be grouped into roughly five gross anatomical regions: initial segment, caput, corpus, cauda and vas deferens. Thus, methodologies that can accurately evaluate the perinatal development are of great importance to understand changes in cellular mechanisms operating in situations such as FP. Currently, one alternative is the study of organogenesis ex vivo. In this project we will learn the technique of organ culture in the perinatal period, using the prostatic gland and the wolff duct as an experimental model.
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