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A Three-dimensional Model of Spheroids to Study Colon Cancer Stem Cells.

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Colorectal cancers are characterized by heterogeneity and a hierarchical organization comprising a population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) responsible for tumor development, maintenance, and resistance to drugs. A better understanding of CSC properties for their specific targeting is, therefore, a pre-requisite for effective therapy. However, there is a paucity of suitable preclinical models for in-depth investigations. Although in vitro two-dimensional (2D) cancer cell lines provide valuable insights into tumor biology, they do not replicate the phenotypic and genetic tumor heterogeneity. In contrast, three-dimensional (3D) models address and reproduce near-physiological cancer complexity and cell heterogeneity. The aim of this work was to design a robust and reproducible 3D culture system to study CSC biology. The present methodology describes the development and optimization of conditions to generate 3D spheroids, which are homogenous in size, from Caco2 colon adenocarcinoma cells, a model that can be used for long-term culture. Importantly, within the spheroids, the cells which were organized around lumen-like structures, were characterized by differential cell proliferation patterns and by the presence of CSCs expressing a panel of markers. These results provide the first proof-of-concept for the appropriateness of this 3D approach to study cell heterogeneity and CSC biology, including the response to chemotherapy.

Tijdschrift: JoVE
ISSN: 1940-087X
Issue: 167
Volume: 2021
Pagina's: 1-27
Jaar van publicatie:2021