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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1991 May;18(2):73-81.

Multiple growth factor independence in rat mammary carcinoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109.


In previous studies we demonstrated that rat mammary tumor (RMT) cells that are serially transplantable consist of cells that are independent of growth factors strictly required by normal rat mammary epithelial (RME) cells for growth in serum-free culture. The present studies were designed to determine the extent of the growth factor independence of several cell lines derived from these tumors and to determine if the cells that expressed growth factor independence in vitro are also tumorigenic in vivo. Cells from a transplantable mammary carcinoma (8-12 RMT) were seeded into culture in serum-free medium in the absence of either insulin (IN), epidermal growth factor (EGF), or cholera toxin (CT), and cell populations independent of the individual factors were developed. Next, the three growth factor independent populations were tested for their ability to grow in the absence of multiple growth factors. 8-12 RMT cells did not lose proliferative potential when multiple growth factors were deleted from the medium. Indeed, 8-12 RMT cells could be serially propagated in serum-free medium supplemented solely with bovine serum albumin (BSA) and ethanolamine. Cell lines independent of single growth factors were also developed from two other transplantable tumors (1-9 RMT and 7-15 RMT). In contrast to the 8-12 RMT-derived cell lines, deletion of additional growth factors from the media of the 1-9 RMT and 7-15 RMT-derived cells resulted in dramatic losses in growth potential. These results suggest that independence of individual growth factors is mediated by different mechanisms, since cells from different tumors can stably express independence of one, two, or three or more factors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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