Label retention and stem cell marker expression in the developing and adult prostate identifies basal and luminal epithelial stem cell subpopulations
SourceStem Cell Research & Therapy, 8, 1, (2017), article 95
Article / Letter to editor
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Stem Cell Research & Therapy
SubjectRadboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is the second most frequent cancer among males worldwide, and most patients with metastatic disease eventually develop therapy-resistant disease. Recent research has suggested the existence of cancer stem-like cells, and that such cells are behind the therapy resistance and progression. METHODS: Here, we have taken advantage of the relatively quiescent nature of stem cells to identify the slow-cycling label-retaining stem cell (LRC) populations of the prostate gland. Mice were pulsed with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) during prostate organogenesis, and the LRC populations were then identified and characterized in 5-day-old and in 6-month-old adult animals using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. RESULTS: Quantification of LRCs in the adult mouse prostate showed that epithelial LRCs were significantly more numerous in prostatic ducts (3.7 +/- 0.47% SD) when compared to the proximal (1.4 +/- 0.83%) and distal epithelium (0.48 +/- 0.08%) of the secretory lobes. LRCs were identified in both the basal and epithelial cell layers of the prostate, and LRCs co-expressed several candidate stem cell markers in a developmental and duct/acini-specific manner, including Sca-1, TROP-2, CD133, CD44, c-kit, and the novel prostate progenitor marker cytokeratin-7. Importantly, a significant proportion of LRCs were localized in the luminal cell layer, the majority in ducts and the proximal prostate, that co-expressed high levels of androgen receptor in the adult prostate. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that there are separate basal and luminal stem cell populations in the prostate, and they open up the possibility that androgen receptor-expressing luminal stem-like cells could function as cancer-initiating and relapse-responsible cells in prostate cancer.
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