A review of prostate organogenesis and a role for ipsc-derived prostate organoids to study prostate development and disease

Adriana Buskin, Parmveer Singh, Oliver Lorenz, Craig Robson, Douglas W. Strand, Rakesh Heer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The prostate is vulnerable to two major age-associated diseases, cancer and benign enlargement, which account for significant morbidity and mortality for men across the globe. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer reported in men, with over 1.2 million new cases diagnosed and 350,000 deaths recorded annually worldwide. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), characterised by the continuous enlargement of the adult prostate, symptomatically afflicts around 50% of men worldwide. A better understanding of the biological processes underpinning these diseases is needed to generate new treatment approaches. Developmental studies of the prostate have shed some light on the processes essential for prostate organogenesis, with many of these up-or downregulated genes expressions also observed in prostate cancer and/or BPH progression. These insights into human disease have been inferred through comparative biological studies relying primarily on rodent models. However, directly observing mechanisms of human prostate development has been more challenging due to limitations in accessing human foetal material. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could provide a suitable alternative as they can mimic embryonic cells, and iPSC-derived prostate organoids present a significant opportunity to study early human prostate developmental processes. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of prostate development and its relevance to prostate-associated diseases. Additionally, we detail the potential of iPSC-derived prostate organoids for studying human prostate development and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13097
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • BPH
  • IPSCs
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate organogenesis
  • Prostate organoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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