Adult bladder epithelium (BLE) is induced to differentiate into glandular epithelium after association with urogenital sinus mesenchyme (UGM) and subsequent in vivo growth in syngeneic male hosts. Alteration of epithelial cytodifferentiation is associated with the expression of prostate-specific antigens, histochemical and steroid metabolic activities. These observations suggest that the inductive influence of the UGM has reprogrammed both the morphological and functional characteristics of the urothelium. In this report, differences regarding the mechanisms and effects of androgenic stimulation of prostate and bladder are exploited to determine the extent to which UGM plus BLE recombinants express a prostatelike, androgen-dependent phenotype. Results from cytosolic and autoradiographic binding studies suggest that androgen binding is induced in UGM plus BLE recombinants and that this activity is accounted for by the induced urothelial cells. In UGM plus BLE recombinants, androgen-induced [3H]thymidine or [35S]-methionine uptake analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that of prostate as opposed to bladder. These studies indicate that expression within BLE of prostatic phenotype is associated with a loss of urothelial characteristics and that androgen sensitivity is presumably a function of the inductive activities of the stroma.

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