Development of the VCaP androgen-independent model of prostate cancer

Urol Oncol. Mar-Apr 2006;24(2):161-8. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2005.11.005.


Prostate epithelial cell growth is dependent on the presence of androgens, and transition of prostate cancer to an androgen-independent phenotype results in a highly aggressive, currently incurable cancer. We have developed a new preclinical model of androgen-independent prostate cancer derived from the VCaP prostate cancer epithelial cell line. VCaP cells were subcutaneously implanted and serially passaged in castrated male severe combined immunodeficient mice. Androgen independence was confirmed by WST-1 (a tetrazolium salt) cell proliferation assay in the absence or presence of dihydrotesterone (1-100 nM). VCaP androgen-sensitive cells responded dose dependently to dihydrotesterone, whereas VCaP androgen-independent cells did not alter their proliferation in response to dihydrotesterone. Gene expression of androgen receptor, B-cell lymphoma-2, prostate cancer antigen 3, prostate acid phosphatase, 6 transmembrane epithelial antigen of the prostate, and survivin was determined by polymerase chain reaction amplification. B-cell lymphoma-2 expression was up regulated in the VCaP androgen-independent lines compared to the VCaP androgen-sensitive, suggesting a possible mechanism of androgen independence. Furthermore, tumor-associated angiogenesis was assessed by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy of CD31. VCaP androgen-independent tumors showed enhanced angiogenesis compared to VCaP androgen-sensitive tumors. These results illustrate the development of a novel model of prostate cancer androgen independence and provide a new system to study angiogenesis and the transition to androgen independence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Androgens
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Line, Tumor*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Androgens