Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells into Prostate Organoids In Vitro and its Perturbation by Low-Dose Bisphenol A Exposure.
PLoS One. 2015;10(7):e0133238. Epub 2015 Jul 29. PMID: 26222054
Esther L Calderon-Gierszal
Studies using rodent and adult human prostate stem-progenitor cell models suggest that developmental exposure to the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol-A (BPA) can predispose to prostate carcinogenesis with aging. Unknown at present is whether the embryonic human prostate is equally susceptible to BPA during its natural developmental window. To address this unmet need, we herein report the construction of a pioneer in vitro human prostate developmental model to study the effects of BPA. The directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) into prostatic organoids in a spatial system was accomplished with precise temporal control of growth factors and steroids. Activin-induced definitive endoderm was driven to prostate specification by combined exposure to WNT10B and FGF10. Matrigel culture for 20-30 days in medium containing R-Spondin-1, Noggin, EGF, retinoic acid and testosterone was sufficient for mature prostate organoid development. Immunofluorescence and gene expression analysis confirmed that organoids exhibited cytodifferentiation and functional properties of the human prostate. Exposure to 1 nM or 10 nM BPA throughout differentiation culture disturbed early morphogenesis in a dose-dependent manner with 1 nM BPA increasing and 10 nM BPA reducing the number of branched structures formed. While differentiation of branched structures to mature organoids seemed largely unaffected by BPA exposure, the stem-like cell population increased, appearing as focal stem cell nests that have not properly entered lineage commitment rather than the rare isolated stem cells found in normally differentiated structures. These findings provide the first direct evidence that low-dose BPA exposure targets hESC and perturbs morphogenesis as the embryonic cells differentiate towards human prostate organoids, suggesting that the developing human prostate may be susceptible to disruption by in utero BPA exposures.