In vitro characterization of spheres derived from colorectal cancer cell lines
- Agata Olejniczak
- Magdalena Szaryńska
- Zbigniew Kmieć
Published online on: November 16, 2017
Spherical cultures (SCs) can be regarded in cancer research as a link between in vitro investigations on cancer lines and in vivo studies of tumor development. SCs are believed to mimic tumor architecture and to be enriched in cancer stem cell-like cells (CSC-like cells). In the present study we characterized colonospheres derived from colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines, and we confirmed the ability of HCT116 and HT29 cell lines to form spheres within serum-free medium, however, the detailed analysis presented the major differences concerning their characteristics including morphology, phenotype, proliferative potential, distribution in the cell cycle phases and spherogenicity. Moreover, after we magnetically separated CD133+ and CD133- cells we could conduct the analogical analysis as we performed for the original cells. We observed that all cellular fractions unveiled sphere formation capacity, even when cultured in limited number of cells per well and only SCs originated from CD133+ fraction resembled morphologically the parental spheres. Both CD133+ and CD133- subsets derived from HCT116 line were more enriched in cells in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle in comparison to their HT29 analogues. Additionally, proliferative potential also varied amongst all studied fractions. Surprisingly, 3-D invasion assay revealed that only HCT116-derived populations were able to migrate into extended regions of Matrigel Matrix confirming their higher aggressiveness. Our results provided comprehensive characterization of CRC cell lines culture in adherent and spherical forms and, what seems to be the most advantageous, the comparison of two distinct fractions after magnetic separation. As we found the specific features of cells presented line- and expansion mode-dependency, thus, such complete description might appear crucial before CRC lines would be involved into sophisticated assays, especially focused on potentially novel therapeutic agents targeting CSC-like cells.