Survivin and Sox9: Potential Stem Cell Markers in Canine Normal, Hyperplastic, and Neoplastic Canine Prostate

Laura Bongiovanni*, Francesca Caposano, Mariarita Romanucci, Valeria Grieco, Daniela Malatesta, Chiara Brachelente, Marcella Massimini, Cinzia Benazzi, Rachel E. Thomas, Leonardo Della Salda

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Canine prostatic carcinoma is a relevant model for human prostatic carcinoma. Survivin is proposed as a biomarker of malignancy in human prostatic cancer. Sox9 is a stem cell marker required for prostate development and expressed in several adult tissues. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the patterns and expression levels of 2 putative stem cell markers, survivin and Sox9, in canine benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic carcinoma to investigate their potential as stem cell markers. Immunohistochemistry with specific antibodies was performed on 3 samples of normal prostate gland, 18 samples of canine BPH, and 16 samples of prostatic carcinoma. The basal cell layer of normal and hyperplastic prostatic lobules had nuclear Sox9 immunolabeling and nuclear and rarely cytoplasmic survivin immunostaining, identifying them as potential stem cell markers. Significantly more frequent survivin and Sox9 expression (≥10% of nuclei) was observed in prostatic carcinoma as compared with BPH. The potential coexpression of survivin with Sox9, androgen receptor, and p63 was also investigated in selected BPH and prostatic carcinoma cases with immunofluorescence, and a partial colocalization was observed. Results indicate that Sox9 and survivin could be considered markers of stemness in canine prostate cells. Given its role in proliferation, cells in the basal cell layer with nuclear survivin expression are likely to be transit-amplifying cells that maintain some stem cell proprieties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-207
    JournalVeterinary Pathology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • dog
    • immunohistochemistry
    • prostate carcinoma
    • Sox9
    • stem cells
    • survivin


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