A human-derived prostate co-culture microtissue model using epithelial (RWPE-1) and stromal (WPMY-1) cell lines

Dent, Matthew P., Madnick, Samantha J., Policelli, Marguerite Vantangoli, Bars, Chloe, Li, Hui, Amin, Ali, Carmichael, Paul L., Martin, Francis L orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8562-4944 and Boekelheide, Kim (2019) A human-derived prostate co-culture microtissue model using epithelial (RWPE-1) and stromal (WPMY-1) cell lines. Toxicology in Vitro, 60 . pp. 203-211. ISSN 0887-2333

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2019.05.023


The development and normal function of prostate tissue depends on signalling interactions between stromal and epithelial compartments. Development of a prostate microtissue composed of these two components can help identify substance exposures that could cause adverse effects in humans as part of a non-animal risk assessment. In this study, prostate microtissues composed of human derived stromal (WPMY-1) and epithelial (RWPE-1) cell lines grown in scaffold-free hydrogels were developed and characterized using immunohistochemistry, light microscopy, and qRT-PCR. Within 5 days after seeding, the microtissues self-organized into spheroids consisting of a core of stromal WPMY-1 cells surrounded by epithelial RWPE-1 cells. The RWPE-1 layer is reflective of intermediate prostatic epithelium, expressing both characteristics of the luminal (high expression of PSA) and basal (high expression of cytokeratins 5/6 and 14) epithelial cells. The response of the microtissues to an androgen (dihydrotestosterone, DHT) and an anti-androgen (flutamide) was also investigated. Treatment with DHT, flutamide or a mixture of DHT and flutamide indicated that the morphology and self-organization of the microtissues is androgen dependent. qRT-PCR data showed that a saturating concentration of DHT increased the expression of genes coding for the estrogen receptors (ESR1 and ESR2) and decreased the expression of CYP1B1 without affecting the expression of the androgen receptor. With further development and optimization RWPE-1/WPMY-1 microtissues can play an important role in non-animal risk assessments.

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