Researchers Dr. Liping Tang from the Bioengineering Department at University of Texas at Arlington, and Dr. Victor K. Lin of the Department of Urology at UT Southwestern (Dallas, Texas) have published a paper describing pluripotent adult stem cells from prostate tissue. Tissue cultures as well as biochemical markers show that the cells harvested from men undergoing surgery to remove the prostate contained mesenchymal adult stem cells that could be induced to grow the smooth muscle cells that they become in the prostate. In addition, they were induced, in the laboratory, to become stem cells that gave rise to fat cell lines (“adipogenic”) and bone cell lines (“osteogenic” cells).
The men did not have prostate cancer. They had BPH, “Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy,” (or “Hyperplasia”)which is an overgrowth of the prostate tissue, a donut of tissue that surrounds the urethra of men, blocking or restricting the passage of urine from the bladder to the outside.
It’s exciting for researchers to not only report research that may help in the treatment or prevention of a disease that affects many older men, but to also find stem cells that are easy to grow and which give rise to several different lineages of adult cells from a common precursor cell.
From the (free) abstract in The Prostate:
Our study on primary stromal cells from BPH patients have yielded many interesting findings that these prostate stroma cells possess: (1) mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) markers; (2) strong proliferative potential; and (3) ability to differentiate or transdifferentiate to myogenic, adipogenic, and osteogenic lineages. These cell preparations may serve as a potential tool for studies in prostate adult stem cell research and the regulation of benign prostatic hyperplasia. (Emphasis mine.)
For an easier to read explanation, read the Press Release from the University of Texas at Arlington School of Engineering:
The research team was particularly interested in human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells, which are the primary cultured BPH stromal cells and have two unique characteristics; they do not exhibit markers typical to epithelial cells (covering the lining of body tissue) and have few markers for disease-causing smooth muscle cells.
This study on primary stromal cells from BPH patients resulted in findings that prostate stroma cells possess multipotent stem cell markers, strong proliferative potential and the ability to differentiate or transdifferentiate to muscle-forming, fat-forming and bone-forming lineages. These cell preparations may serve as a potential tool for prostate stem cell research and its role on regulation of prostatic hyperplasia.
(Hat Tip to DT of daily transformation.)