[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies in rodent models have shown that early-life exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) reprograms the prostate and enhances its susceptibility to hormonal carcinogenesis with aging. To determine whether the human prostate is similarly sensitive to BPA, the current study used human prostate epithelial stem-like cells cultured from prostates of young, disease-free donors. Similar to estradiol-17β (E2), BPA increased stem-progenitor cell self-renewal and expression of stem-related genes in a dose-dependent manner. Further, 10 nM BPA and E2 possessed equimolar membrane-initiated signaling with robust induction of p-Akt and p-Erk at 15 minutes. To assess in vivo carcinogenicity, human prostate stem-progenitor cells combined with rat mesenchyme were grown as renal grafts in nude mice, forming normal human prostate epithelium at 1 month. Developmental BPA exposure was achieved through oral administration of 100 or 250 μg BPA/kg body weight to hosts for 2 weeks after grafting, producing free BPA levels of 0.39 and 1.35 ng/mL serum, respectively. Carcinogenesis was driven by testosterone plus E2 treatment for 2 to 4 months to model rising E2 levels in aging men. The incidence of high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and adenocarcinoma markedly increased from 13% in oil-fed controls to 33% to 36% in grafts exposed in vivo to BPA (P < .05). Continuous developmental BPA exposure through in vitro (200 nM) plus in vivo (250 μg/kg body weight) treatments increased high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia/cancer incidence to 45% (P < .01). Together, the present findings demonstrate that human prostate stem-progenitor cells are direct BPA targets and that developmental exposure to BPA at low doses increases hormone-dependent cancer risk in the human prostate epithelium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen reprogramming of the prostate gland as a function of developmental exposures (aka developmental estrogenization) results in permanent alterations in structure and gene expression that lead to an increased incidence of prostatic lesions with aging. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with estrogenic activity have been similarly linked to an increased prostate cancer risk. Since it has been suggested that stem cells and cancer stem cells are potential targets of cancer initiation and disease management, it is highly possible that estrogens and EDCs influence the development and progression of prostate cancer through reprogramming and transforming the prostate stem and early stage progenitor cells. In this article, we review recent literature highlighting the effects of estrogens and EDCs on prostate cancer risk and discuss recent advances in prostate stem/progenitor cell research. Our laboratory has recently developed a novel prostasphere model using normal human prostate stem/progenitor cells and established that these cells express estrogen receptors (ERs) and are direct targets of estrogen action. Further, using a chimeric in vivo prostate model derived from these normal human prostate progenitor cells, we demonstrated for the first time that estrogens initiate and promote prostatic carcinogenesis in an androgen-supported environment. We herein discuss these findings and highlight new evidence using our in vitro human prostasphere assay for perturbations in human prostate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation by natural steroids as well as EDCs. These findings support the hypothesis that tissue stem cells may be direct EDC targets which may underlie life-long reprogramming as a consequence of developmental and/or transient adult exposures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study sought to determine whether estrogens with testosterone support are sufficient to transform the normal human prostate epithelium and promote progression to invasive adenocarcinoma using a novel chimeric prostate model. Adult prostate stem/early progenitor cells were isolated from normal human prostates through prostasphere formation in three-dimensional culture. The stem/early progenitor cell status and clonality of prostasphere cells was confirmed by immunocytochemistry and Hoechst staining. Normal prostate progenitor cells were found to express estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β, and G protein-coupled receptor 30 mRNA and protein and were responsive to 1 nm estradiol-17β with increased numbers and prostasphere size, implicating them as direct estrogen targets. Recombinants of human prostate progenitor cells with rat urogenital sinus mesenchyme formed chimeric prostate tissue in vivo under the renal capsule of nude mice. Cytodifferentiation of human prostate progenitor cells in chimeric tissues was confirmed by immunohistochemistry using epithelial cell markers (p63, cytokeratin 8/18, and androgen receptor), whereas human origin and functional differentiation were confirmed by expression of human nuclear antigen and prostate-specific antigen, respectively. Once mature tissues formed, the hosts were exposed to elevated testosterone and estradiol-17β for 1-4 months, and prostate pathology was longitudinally monitored. Induction of prostate cancer in the human stem/progenitor cell-generated prostatic tissue was observed over time, progressing from normal histology to epithelial hyperplasia, prostate intraepithelial neoplasia, and prostate cancer with local renal invasion. These findings provide the first direct evidence that human prostate progenitor cells are estrogen targets and that estradiol in an androgen-supported milieu is a carcinogen for human prostate epithelium.