Fetal prostate growth and development

Pediatr Pathol. 1990;10(4):527-37. doi: 10.3109/15513819009067141.


Normal fetal and newborn prostates were studied to evaluate growth patterns, histogenesis, and secretory activity. Whole cross-sectioned prostates harvested from 107 necropsies of fetuses and newborns ages 20 weeks gestation to 1 month of age were used. Development of the prostate occurred in three stages: bud stage (20-30 weeks gestation), bud-tubule stage (31-36 weeks gestation), and acinotubular stage (37-42 weeks gestation). Squamous metaplasia often appeared in the urethra, utricle, and primary lobular ducts, and occasional microcysts were noted. PAS and alcian blue-PAS positive secretion were present in 65% of the specimens by 20-30 weeks gestation and in over 87% of the specimens by 37 or more weeks gestation. Secretory activity was most prominent in the lateral regions of the peripheral zone. Prostate-specific antigen was only weakly detected throughout the prenatal period and was not related to secretory activity as evidenced by the PAS technique.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Cysts / embryology
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / growth & development
  • Male
  • Periodic Acid-Schiff Reaction
  • Prostate / embryology*
  • Prostate / growth & development
  • Prostate / immunology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Diseases / embryology
  • Prostatic Diseases / pathology
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen