An analysis of benign human prostate offers insights into the mechanism of apocrine secretion and the origin of prostasomes

Fullwood, Nigel J.; Lawlor, Alan J.; Martin-Hirsch, Pierre L.; Matanhelia, Shyam S.; Martin, Francis L.. 2019 An analysis of benign human prostate offers insights into the mechanism of apocrine secretion and the origin of prostasomes. Scientific Reports, 9, 4582. 11, pp.

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The structure and function of normal human prostate is still not fully understood. Herein, we concentrate on the different cell types present in normal prostate, describing some previously unreported types and provide evidence that prostasomes are primarily produced by apocrine secretion. Patients (n = 10) undergoing TURP were prospectively consented based on their having a low risk of harbouring CaP. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy was used to characterise cell types and modes of secretion. Zinc levels were determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Although merocrine secretory cells were noted, the majority of secretory cells appear to be apocrine; for the first time, we clearly show high-resolution images of the stages of aposome secretion in human prostate. We also report a previously undescribed type of epithelial cell and the first ultrastructural image of wrapping cells in human prostate stroma. The zinc levels in the tissues examined were uniformly high and X-ray microanalysis detected zinc in merocrine cells but not in prostasomes. We conclude that a significant proportion of prostasomes, possibly the majority, are generated via apocrine secretion. This finding provides an explanation as to why so many large proteins, without a signal peptide sequence, are present in the prostatic fluid.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: cellular imaging, imaging
NORA Subject Terms: Medicine
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 27 Mar 2019 11:47 +0 (UTC)

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