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Eur J Cell Biol. 2005 Mar;84(2-3):341-54.

Identification of a stem cell candidate in the normal human prostate gland.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, 3601 S. 6th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85723, USA. monika.schmelz@med.va.gov

Abstract

Stem cells of the human prostate gland have not yet been identified utilizing a structural biomarker. We have discovered a new prostatic epithelial cell phenotype-expressing cytokeratin 6a (Ck6a+ cells). The Ck6a+ cells are present within a specialized niche in the basal cell compartment in fetal, juvenile and adult prostate tissue, and within the stem cell-enriched urogenital sinus. In adult normal prostate tissue, the average abundance of Ck6a+ cells was 4.9%. With proliferative stimuli in the prostate organ culture model, in which the epithelial-stromal interaction was maintained, a remarkable increase of Ck6a expression was noticed to up to 64.9%. The difference in cytokeratin 6a expression between the normal adult prostate and the prostate organ culture model was statistically significant (p<0.0001). Within the prostate organ culture model the increase of cytokeratin 6a-expressing cells significantly correlated with increased proliferation index (r = 0.7616, p = 0.0467). The Ck6a+ cells were capable of differentiation as indicated by their expression of luminal cell markers such as ZO-1 and prostate specific antigen (PSA). Our data indicate that Ck6a+ cells represent a prostatic epithelial stem cell candidate possessing high potential for proliferation and differentiation. Since the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinogenesis are disorders of proliferation and differentiation, the Ck6a+ cells may represent a major element in the development of these diseases.

PMID:
15819412
PMCID:
PMC2730953
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejcb.2004.12.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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