We have transfected rat ventral prostate (RVP) epithelial cells with a plasmid containing the SV40 large T-antigen in an attempt to establish a panel of cell lines that will be useful in molecular genetic studies of prostate cell function. Since the distribution of cell types in the RVP is dramatically affected by androgen withdrawal and replacement, cells isolated from normal, castrated, or castrated rats that were given daily injections of testosterone were used in these experiments. Cell lines were established in media that were supplemented or depleted of androgens to accommodate the possible requirements of different prostate cell types. Numerous cell lines were isolated which retain characteristics of RVP epithelial cells and five of these cell lines were studied in detail. All five cell lines express the SV40 large T-antigen, supporting the role of this viral protein in immortalization. The RVP cell lines were shown to contain high levels of functional glucocorticoid receptors, but very low levels of androgen binding activity even though androgen receptor RNA could be detected. It was determined that the decreased androgen receptor activity in the RVP cells was apparently due to low receptor expression based on the results of transient transfection assays using androgen receptor cDNA. Taken together, the biochemical, cytological, and morphological characterizations of the RVP cell lines suggest that they may all have been derived from basal prostate epithelial cells despite the initial differences in androgen status of the animal and the level of androgens in the culture media.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology