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J Vis Exp. 2017 Feb 13;(120). doi: 10.3791/55279.

A Rapid Filter Insert-based 3D Culture System for Primary Prostate Cell Differentiation.

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Department of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center.
Department of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center;


Conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs) provide a sustainable method for primary cell culture and the ability to develop extensive "living biobanks" of patient derived cell lines. For many types of epithelial cells, various three dimensional (3D) culture approaches have been described that support an improved differentiated state. While CRCs retain their lineage commitment to the tissue from which they are isolated, they fail to express many of the differentiation markers associated with the tissue of origin when grown under normal two dimensional (2D) culture conditions. To enhance the application of patient-derived CRCs for prostate cancer research, a 3D culture format has been defined that enables a rapid (2 weeks total) luminal cell differentiation in both normal and tumor-derived prostate epithelial cells. Herein, a filter insert-based format is described for the culturing and differentiation of both normal and malignant prostate CRCs. A detailed description of the procedures required for cell collection and processing for immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining are provided. Collectively the 3D culture format described, combined with the primary CRC lines, provides an important medium- to high- throughput model system for biospecimen-based prostate research.

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