The characterization of epithelial and stromal subsets of candidate stem/progenitor cells in the human adult prostate.

Jens Ceder, Linda Jansson, Roy Ehrnström, Lars Rönnstrand, Per-Anders Abrahamsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Questions regarding the cell source and mechanisms in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer are today still open for debate. Indeed, our knowledge regarding prostate cell regulation, self-renewal, and cytodifferentiation is presently rather limited. In this study, we investigated these processes in the normal adult human prostate. METHODS: Dynamic expression patterns in prostate stem/progenitor cells, intermediate/transit-amplifying cells, and cell lineages were immunohistochemically identified in an in situ explant renewal model of the human normal/benign adult prostate (n=6). RESULTS: Cells with a basal phenotype proliferated significantly in explant cultures, whereas luminal cells went into apoptosis. Results further show down-regulation in tissue cultures of the basal and hypothetical stem cell marker Bcl-2 in the majority of cells, except in rare putative epithelial stem cells. Investigation of established (AC133) and novel candidate prostate stem/progenitor markers, including the cell surface receptor tyrosine kinase KIT and its ligand stem cell factor (SCF), showed that these rare epithelial cells are AC133(+)/CD133(low)/Bcl-2(high)/cytokeratin(+)/vimentin(-)/KIT(low)/SCF(low). In addition, we report on a stromal population that expresses the mesenchymal marker vimentin and that is AC133(-)/CD133(high)/Bcl-2(-)/cytokeratin(-)/KIT(high)/SCF(high). CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence for epithelial renewal in response to tissue culture and for basal and epithelial stem/progenitor cell recruitment leading to an expansion of an intermediate luminal precursor phenotype. Data further suggest that SCF regulates prostate epithelial stem/progenitor cells in an autocrine manner and that all or a subset of the identified novel stromal phenotype represents prostate stromal progenitor cells or interstitial pacemaker cells or both.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-532
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of urological research (013243410), Molecular Psychiatry Unit (013024100), Pathology (Malmö) (013031000), Experimental Clinical Chemistry (013016010)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology

Free keywords

  • cell differentiation
  • adult stem cells
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • prostate gland


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