Development and characterization of efficient xenograft models for benign and malignant human prostate tissue

Prostate. 2005 Jul 1;64(2):149-59. doi: 10.1002/pros.20225.


Background: Various research groups have attempted to grow fresh, histologically intact human prostate cancer tissues in immunodeficient mice. Unfortunately, grafting of such tissues to the sub-cutaneous compartment was found to be associated with low engraftment rates. Furthermore, xenografts could only be established using high-grade, advanced stage, but not low- or moderate-grade prostate cancer tissues.

Methods: This paper describes methods for xenografting both benign and malignant human prostate tissue to severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. We examine the efficiency and histopathologic consequences of grafting to the sub-cutaneous, sub-renal capsule, and prostatic orthotopic sites.

Results: Sub-renal capsule grafting was most efficient in terms of take rate (>90%) for both benign and malignant tissue. Orthotopic grafts consistently exhibited the best histopathologic differentiation, although good differentiation with continued expression of androgen receptors (AR) and PSA was also seen in the sub-renal capsule site. Sub-cutaneous grafting resulted in low take rates and the lowest level of histodifferentiation in surviving grafts. Grafted benign tissues in all sites appropriately expressed AR, PSA, cytokeratins 8, 18, and 14 as well as p63; carcinoma tissues did not express the basal cell markers. Grafting of tissues to castrated hosts did not affect the graft take rates (but was not practical in the case of the orthotopic site). Grafting followed by host castration resulted in epithelial regression with loss PSA and reduced AR expression at all three sites.

Conclusions: These data suggest that sub-renal capsule and orthotopic grafting of human prostate tissue can be used for many basic scientific and translational studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Models, Animal
  • Neoplasm Transplantation*
  • Orchiectomy
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous*