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Eur J Cell Biol. 2003 Jan;82(1):1-8.

Regulation of cell growth and the expression of extracellular matrix proteins in colorectal adenocarcinoma: a fibroblast-tumor cell coculture model to study tumor-host interactions in vitro.

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Institute of Pathology, Charité Hospital Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The production of abundant connective tissue within malignant tumors, the so-called desmoplastic stromal reaction, is a hallmark of colorectal adenocarcinomas. This stroma is produced to a large extent by myofibroblasts and contains various amounts of collagens (type I, III, and V), chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, hyaluronic acid, fibronectin, and tenascin-C. In this study we have established a monolayer coculture model between two different colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines (HRT-18, and CX-2) and colonic fibroblasts (CCD-18) to investigate the mechanisms regulating (i) the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, (ii) the induction of myofibroblastic differentiation, and (iii) cellular proliferation. We found that TGFbeta1 and FGF-2 stimulated ECM synthesis of fibroblasts. Myofibroblastic differentiation was stimulated by TGFbeta1 but suppressed by FGF-2. There was a mutual stimulation of proliferation between fibroblasts and carcinoma cells. The analogies with ECM components expressed in cocultures and colorectal adenocarcinoma samples suggest that the coculture model used in this study is useful to study tumor cell-fibroblast interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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