Background: The clonally derived rat prostatic epithelial cell line NRP-152 was examined to determine its ability to differentiate in a tissue recombination model.
Methods: NRP-152 cells alone, or combined with urogenital mesenchyme (UGM) or 10T1/2 fibroblasts, were grafted beneath the renal capsule of athymic rodent hosts. After 1 and 3 months, grafts were examined grossly and immunohistochemically.
Results: NRP-152 cells grafted alone formed small (10-25 mg) grafts without recognizable architecture. NRP-152 cells recombined with UGM formed larger grafts (50-100 mg after 28 days) containing glandular epithelium. Columnar luminal cells expressed cytokeratins 8 and 18 and rat prostatic secretory markers (DP-1 and DP-2). The epithelial ducts were surrounded by well-differentiated smooth muscle. The glandular epithelial cells were shown to be of rat origin. NRP-152 + 10T1/2 tissue recombinants formed small grafts (10-40 mg wet weight) after 1 month. The epithelial component of these grafts formed solid unbranched cords expressing cytokeratins 5 and 14; no glandular epithelial structures were observed. The stromal matrix was densely packed with a few cells expressing alpha-actin.
Conclusions: A clonally derived prostatic epithelial cell line can form structurally and functionally normal prostatic tissue. This suggests that prostatic basal and luminal epithelial cells can be derived from a common progenitor.