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Single Adult Stem Cell Can Lead to Mouse Prostate

Researchers find that CD117+ prostate stem cells can generate functional prostates in vivo

FRIDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A single adult mouse prostate stem cell is capable of generating a prostate after being transplanted in vivo, according to a letter published online Oct. 22 in the journal Nature.

Kevin G. Leong, of Genentech, Inc., in South San Francisco, Calif., and colleagues sought specific markers to identify prostate stem cells (PSCs) and found evidence for CD117, which demonstrates an expression profile similar to that of other PSC markers. Serial transplantations of successively smaller numbers of CD117+ cells provided evidence that this cell population contains normal PSCs with the ability for self-renewal -- a defining characteristic of stem cells, the authors write.

The authors then generated 14 prostates with 97 single-cell transplants, grafting Lin-Sca-1+CD133+CD44+CD117+ cells under the renal capsule of host mice. These transplants showed considerable prostate development, with epithelial tubules containing multiple cell lineages.

"This is, to our knowledge, the first report to demonstrate prostate generation from a single adult stem cell. Recently, two studies described mouse mammary gland reconstitution from a single stem cell. By demonstrating that a functional organ could be generated from a single adult stem cell, these studies signified hallmark advancement in the stem cell research field," the authors conclude. "Determining the phenotype of stem cells with single cell tissue generation capacity has important implications for tissue repair and regrowth and for cancer stem/initiating cell identification."

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