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Distribution, shape, and immunohistochemical characteristics of serotonin-immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells in the urethra and periurethral genital organs in mice

Abstract

The aim of this study is to clarify the disibution, shape, and immunohistochemical characteristics of serotonin-immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells (SIR-NECs) in mouse prostate and in the surrounding genital organs by histological and immunohistochemical analysis of the light microscopic serial sections of urethra. We collected lower urinary tracts from 13-week-old mice and observed the distribution pattern and shape of the SIR-NECs by serial light microscopy. The organs on the sections were divided into three anatomical zones to clarify the distribution pattern of SIR-NECs: (1) zone A, the ducts near the prostatic urethra; (2) zone B, the ducts outside the urethral sphincter; and (3) zone C, the acinus areas. Sections were double immune-stained with antibodies against serotonin and one of neuroendocrine-related factors (NRFs), including 10 neural cell markers and eight neurotransmitters, and also 4′,6-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). In addition, SIR-NECs were double immune-stained with antibodies against cytokeratin 5 (CK5) and p63, together with DAPI. SIR-NECs were mostly localized in zone A, and no SIR-NECs were observed in zone C. The proportion of flask-shaped SIR-NECs was approximately 15% in zones A and B. No flask-shaped SIR-NECs were observed in urethral epithelia. The NRFs co-localized with SIR-NEC were calcitonin gene-related peptide, CD56, chromogranin A, neuron-specific enolase, neuron cytoplastic protein 9.5, and synaptophysin (72.3%, 73.2%, 88.9%, 92.3%, 91.7%, and 81.9%, respectively). CK5 and p63 were not co-localized with SIR-NECs. In this study, SIR-NEC of the urethra and the surrounding genital organs was ubiquitous in the urethra and the ducts near the urethra and co-expressed specific nerve-related NRFs.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported in part by a grant from the Strategic Research Foundation Grant-aided Project for Private Universities from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology, Japan. This work was also supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 19K09743. The authors would like to thank Enago (www.enago.jp) for the English language review.

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Correspondence to Kei-ichiro Uemura.

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Uemura, Ki., Hiroshige, T., Ueda, K. et al. Distribution, shape, and immunohistochemical characteristics of serotonin-immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells in the urethra and periurethral genital organs in mice. J Mol Histol 52, 1205–1214 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10735-021-10020-2

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Keywords

  • Serotonin
  • Neuroendocrine cell
  • Prostate
  • Urethra
  • Genital organ