Isolation, cultivation and characterization of adult murine prostate stem cells.
The successful isolation and cultivation of prostate stem cells will allow us to study their unique biological properties and their application in therapeutic approaches. Here we describe step-by-step procedures on the basis of previous work in our laboratory for the harvesting of primary prostate cells from adolescent male mice by a modified enzymatic procedure; the isolation of an enriched population of prostate stem cells through cell sorting; and the cultivation of prostate stem cells in vitro and characterization of these cells and their stem-like activity, including in vivo tubule regeneration. Normally, it will take approximately 8 h to harvest prostate cells, isolate the stem cell-enriched population and set up the in vitro sphere assay. It will take up to 8 weeks to analyze the unique properties of the stem cells, including their regenerative capacity in vivo.