Recapitulation of prostate tissue cell type-specific transcriptomes by an in vivo primary prostate tissue xenograft model

PLoS One. 2020 Jun 25;15(6):e0233899. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233899. eCollection 2020.


Studies of the normal functions and diseases of the prostate request in vivo models that maintain the tissue architecture and the multiple-cell type compartments of human origin in order to recapitulate reliably the interactions of different cell types. Cell type-specific transcriptomes are critical to reveal the roles of each cell type in the functions and diseases of the prostate. A primary prostate tissue xenograft model was developed using fresh human prostate tissue specimens transplanted onto male mice that were castrated surgically and implanted with a device to maintain circulating testosterone levels comparable to adult human males. Endothelial cells and epithelial cells were isolated from 7 fresh human prostate tissue specimens and from primary tissue xenografts established from 9 fresh human prostate tissue specimens, using antibody-conjugated magnetic beads specific to human CD31 and human EpCAM, respectively. Transcriptomes of endothelial, epithelial and stromal cell fractions were obtained using RNA-Seq. Global and function-specific gene expression profiles were compared in inter-cell type and inter-tissue type manners. Gene expression profiles in the individual cell types isolated from xenografts were similar to those of cells isolated from fresh tissue, demonstrating the value of the primary tissue xenograft model for studies of the inter-relationships between prostatic cell types and the role of such inter-relationships in organ development, disease progression, and response to drug treatments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule / metabolism
  • Heterografts / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Models, Animal
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Prostate / cytology*
  • Transcriptome*


  • EPCAM protein, human
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • PECAM1 protein, human
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1