AbstractThe heterogeneity of the prostate stromal cells is widely appreciated but the functional implication remains incompletely understood. Using genetic lineage tracing and light-sheet imaging, we show that some fibroblast cells near the junction of the mouse proximal prostatic ducts and prostatic urethra highly express Lgr5. Genetic ablation of these anatomically restricted stromal cells, but not nonselective ablation of prostatic stromal cells, rapidly induces prostate epithelial turnover and dedifferentiation that are reversed following spontaneous restoration of the Lgr5+ stromal cells. RNA-Seq analysis implies that ablating the Lgr5+ stromal cells activates a mechanosensory response. We show that ablating the Lgr5+ stromal cells impairs the control of prostatic ductal outlet, increases prostate tissue stiffness, and activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Suppressing MAPK overrides the increased epithelial proliferation. This study demonstrates that the Lgr5+ stromal cells regulate tissue homeostasis in a long-distance manner by maintaining anatomic integrity and implies that the cells near the transitional regions between organs likely control organ homeostasis by sustaining a balanced mechanoforce.
Published: September 28, 2022