Nestin+NG2+ Cells Form a Reserve Stem Cell Population in the Mouse Prostate

Maher Hanoun, Anna Arnal-Estapé, Maria Maryanovich, Ali H. Zahalka, Sarah K. Bergren, Chee W. Chua, Avigdor Leftin, Patrik N. Brodin, Michael M. Shen, Chandan Guha, Paul S. Frenette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the prostate, stem and progenitor cell regenerative capacities have been ascribed to both basal and luminal epithelial cells. Here, we show that a rare subset of mesenchymal cells in the prostate are epithelial-primed Nestin-expressing cells (EPNECs) that can generate self-renewing prostate organoids with bipotential capacity. Upon transplantation, these EPNECs can form prostate gland tissue grafts at the clonal level. Lineage-tracing analyses show that cells marked by Nestin or NG2 transgenic mice contribute to prostate epithelium during organogenesis. In the adult, modest contributions in repeated rounds of regression and regeneration are observed, whereas prostate epithelial cells derived from Nestin/NG2-marked cells are dramatically increased after severe irradiation-induced organ damage. These results indicate that Nestin/NG2 expression marks a novel radioresistant prostate stem cell that is active during development and displays reserve stem cell activity for tissue maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1211
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 11 2019


  • Nestin
  • mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition
  • prostate stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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