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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Dec 16;338(2):1164-70. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

A quantitative matrigel assay for assessing repopulating capacity of prostate stem cells.

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Department of Cell Differentiation, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan.


Homeostasis of prostate tissue is maintained by stem cells, although such cells have not been well characterized. Here, we report establishment of such a method using matrigel. Matrigel containing a single-cell suspension from adult prostatic cells was subcutaneously grafted into the flank of nude mice. Prostatic duct-like structures derived from donor tissue were observed in the gel 2 weeks after transplantation. Luminal and basal cells observed in the gel expressed several markers characteristic of prostatic and/or epithelial cells. When a mixture with both EGFP-positive and negative prostate cells was transplanted, prostatic ducts consisted of either EGFP-positive or negative cells and chimeric patterns were rarely observed, suggesting that ducts were reconstituted from a single cell. Stem cell number and function were also evaluated by competition with control cells. Overall this method revealed that cells localized in the proximal portion in prostate ducts had higher reconstitution capacity than those in the distal portion. We conclude that prostate stem/progenitor cells exist and that our method is applicable to analysis of prostate stem cells, epithelial mesenchyme interactions, and prostate cancer stem cells.

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