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Keywords:

  • heterospecies recombinants;
  • prostate;
  • telomeres

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Recombinant xenografts of human cells growing in immunocompromised rodents are widely used for studying stem cell biology, tumor biology, and epithelial to mesenchyme transitions. Of critical importance is the correct interpretation of the cellular composition of such xenografts.

METHODS

Here we present a rapid and robust method employing protein nucleic acid (PNA) FISH probes to dual-label centromeres and telomeres (Cen/Tel FISH). Such labeling allows unambiguous discrimination between human, mouse, and rat cells in paraffin-embedded tissue sections, providing significant advantages over current methods used to discern human versus rodent cell types.

RESULTS

Using an in vivo prostatic developmental system where rat embryonic urogenital sinus mesenchyme is recombined with human prostate epithelial organoids and grown in an immunocompromised mouse, Cen/Tel FISH documents that all three species contribute to the development of glandular structures.

CONCLUSIONS

The method is an indispensable tool to analyze xenograft/host interactions and prevent misinterpretation of data using tissue recombination approaches. Prostate 69: 1557–1564, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.