Formation,Storage and Secretion of Prostasomes in Benign and Malignant Cells and Their Immunogenicity in Prostate Cancer Patients

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Prostasomes are submicron-sized, membrane-bound organelles produced by the epithelial cells of the prostate and normally found in the secretion in the gland ducts. Their physiological role is in the promotion of sperm-function in human reproduction. This thesis contains four papers dealing with the production of prostasomes and some possible applications in clinical urology of the prostasome. Paper I and II provided an ultrastructural description of the synthesis, storage and secretion of prostasomes in benign as well as in malignant tissue. Most notable were the extracellular appearances of prostasomes in metastatic lesions whereby the prostasomes become exposed to the immune system of the patient. This supported findings in earlier studies in which patients with advanced prostate cancer had elevated levels of anti-prostasome antibodies. The results of paper III reinforced the view of the prostate-unique origin of the prostasome. In particular, there were no indications in SDS-PAGE patterns or flow-cytometric studies of material from seminal vesicle secretion that it contained components that could be associated with a production of prostasomes. Some possible clinical functions of the prostasomes were investigated in paper IV. Exposure of prostasomes to the immune system through mechanical and thermal trauma to the prostate did not induce an evident formation of anti-prostasome autoantibodies. Furthermore, the serum levels of anti-prostasome antibodies registered by assays with preparations of prostasomes from seminal plasma as antigen did not correlate with existing prostate cancer. Seminal prostasomes seemed not to function as substitute markers for prostate cancer in the test kit used. A possible explanation could be underestimated differences in antigen properties between seminal or prostate gland-derived prostasomes and prostasomes from tumor tissue.