Pathologic progression of autochthonous prostate cancer in the TRAMP model

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1999 Mar;2(2):70-75. doi: 10.1038/sj.pcan.4500296.


The ability to manipulate gene expression in specific cell types at specific times utilizing transgenic technology has allowed the development of novel mouse model systems that can mimic human disease. We have previously established the Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) model for prostate cancer using the rat probasin promoter to direct expression of the SV40 early genes to prostate epithelium. Male TRAMP mice exhibit consistent prostate-specific patterns of expression and develop prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia that will become invasive and metastasize primarily to the lymph nodes and lungs. In this paper we report our continued experience with this model and present a standardized histologic grading system to designate low and high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and well, moderate, and poorly differentiated prostate adenocarcinoma. In addition, we demonstrate the persistence of androgen receptor expression during pathologic progression and characterize heterogeneous cytokeratin expression in localized and metastatic prostate cancer. Finally, we report on our observations that phenotypic variability in tumor and pathologic progression in TRAMP occurs as a function of genetic background.