Stem cell enrichment provides a tool to examine prostate stem cells obtained from benign and malignant tissue. Functional assays can enrich stem cells based on common stem cell phenotypes, such as high ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter mediated efflux of Hoechst substrates (side population assay). This functional assay is based upon mechanisms that protect cells from environmental insult thus contributing to the survival and protection of the stem cell population. We have isolated and analyzed cells digested from twelve clinical prostate specimens based on the side population assay. Prostate stem cell properties of the isolated cells were tested by serial recombination with rat urogenital mesenchyme. Recombinants with side population cells demonstrate an increase in the frequency of human ductal growth and the number of glands per recombinant when compared to recombinants with non-side population cells. Isolated cells were capable of prostatic growth for up to three generations in the recombination assay with as little as 125 sorted prostate cells. The ability to reproducibly use cells isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting from human prostate tissue is an essential step to a better understanding of human prostate stem cell biology. ABC transporter G2 (ABCG2) was expressed in recombinants from side population cells indicating the side population cells have self-renewal properties. Epithelial cell differentiation of recombinants was determined by immunohistochemical analysis for expression of the basal, luminal, and neuroendocrine markers, p63, androgen receptor, prostate specific antigen, and chromogranin A, respectively. Thus, the ABCG2 expressing side population demonstrates multipotency and self-renewal properties indicating stem cells are within this population. © 2013 Foster et al.
Foster, B. A., Gangavarapu, K. J., Mathew, G., Azabdaftari, G., Morrison, C. D., Miller, A., & Huss, W. J. (2013). Human Prostate Side Population Cells Demonstrate Stem Cell Properties in Recombination with Urogenital Sinus Mesenchyme. PLoS ONE, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055062