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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Stromal hyperplasia in male bladders upon loss of transforming growth factor-beta signaling in fibroblasts.

PURPOSE: Rapid bladder growth associated, partial urethral obstruction and embryonic bladder development entail stromal-epithelial interactions involving signaling by the cytokine transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). However, to our knowledge the role of TGF-beta in bladder stromal hyperplasia and hypertrophy is not understood. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In an effort to understand the specific role of TGF-beta signaling in bladder stroma a fibroblast specific conditional knockout mouse of the type II TGF-beta receptor gene, Tgfbr2(/spko), was generated using Cre-lox methodology. Bladders from 18, 7 to 8-week-old mice were harvested for histological and immunohistochemical analysis. RESULTS: Bladders from homozygous Tgfbr2(/spko), male mice showed marked hypertrophy in the lamina propria and smooth muscle layers in the absence of visible or functional bladder obstruction by age 8 weeks. However, age matched female mice of the same genotype maintained bladder architecture similar to that in wild-type littermate male and female controls. Immunohistochemistry for the phosphorylated form of Smad2 indicated a general loss in TGF-beta signaling in the lamina propria of bladders of male and female Tgfbr2(/spko), mice, and yet pronounced alpha-smooth muscle actin expression was noted in male Tgfbr2(/spko), bladders, which is a marker for myofibroblasts. CONCLUSIONS: A sex disparity was observed in the Tgfbr2(/spko), mouse model lacking TGF-beta signaling in fibroblasts. Deletion of TGF-beta in males leads to a hypertrophied lamina propria and muscularis externa with myofibroblast differentiation and proliferation. Female homozygous Tgfbr2(/spko), bladders appeared the same as those of wild-type male and female controls. This model suggests a role for stromal TGF-beta signaling with estrogens and androgens in bladder fibrosis.[1]


  1. Stromal hyperplasia in male bladders upon loss of transforming growth factor-beta signaling in fibroblasts. Sharif-Afshar, A.R., Donohoe, J.M., Pope, J.C., Adams, M.C., Brock, J.W., Bhowmick, N.A. J. Urol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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