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Basal cells are progenitors of luminal cells in primary cultures of differentiating human prostatic epithelium

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Neal, Dr Anne Collins


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BACKGROUND. Human prostatic epithelium consists mainly of basal and secretory luminal cells: the origin of these phenotypes from a common stem cell, within the basal compartment, has been proposed but not yet demonstrated. METHODS. Analyses by light and electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry, and flow cytometry were used to determine lineage. The criteria for identifying the different phenotypes were characteristic morphology, and organization and expression of luminal- and basal-specific markers. RESULTS. After organoids attached, outgrowths appeared with cells maintaining close cell-to-cell associations. The dividing cell compartment contained a subpopulation of cells with stem-cell characteristics and a major population that may correspond to amplifying cells. The characteristics of the stem-cell phenotype included reactivity with antibodies CK(basal), CK14, and Ki67. The amplifying cells were characterized as an intermediate phenotype between basal and luminal, as reactivity was demonstrated with CK(basal), CK14, and CK18. As outgrowths eventually merged, multilayering was apparent and cells on the uppermost layer had numerous secretory vacuoles and reacted strongly with antibodies CK18 and CK19, androgen receptor, and prostate-specific antigen, which is characteristic of secretory luminal cells in vivo. In passaged cultures, loss of reactivity with CK(basal) was detected; we postulate that this population contains the stem-cell fraction. CONCLUSIONS. These findings demonstrate that basal and luminal cells are of the same lineage and are derived from a common stem cell. Moreover, the progenitor stem cells reside within the basal compartment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Collins AT; Neal DE; Robinson EJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Prostate

Year: 1998

Volume: 37

Issue: 3

Pages: 149-160

Print publication date: 01/11/1998

ISSN (print): 0270-4137

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0045

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0045(19981101)37:3<149::AID-PROS4>3.0.CO;2-E

PubMed id: 9792132


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