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J Vis Exp. 2014 Nov 8;(93):e51926. doi: 10.3791/51926.

Non-enzymatic, serum-free tissue culture of pre-invasive breast lesions for spontaneous generation of mammospheres.

Author information

1
Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, George Mason University; vespina@gmu.edu.
2
Virginia Surgery Associates.
3
Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, George Mason University.

Abstract

Breast ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), by definition, is proliferation of neoplastic epithelial cells within the confines of the breast duct, without breaching the collagenous basement membrane. While DCIS is a non-obligate precursor to invasive breast cancers, the molecular mechanisms and cell populations that permit progression to invasive cancer are not fully known. To determine if progenitor cells capable of invasion existed within the DCIS cell population, we developed a methodology for collecting and culturing sterile human breast tissue at the time of surgery, without enzymatic disruption of tissue. Sterile breast tissue containing ductal segments is harvested from surgically excised breast tissue following routine pathological examination. Tissue containing DCIS is placed in nutrient rich, antibiotic-containing, serum free medium, and transported to the tissue culture laboratory. The breast tissue is further dissected to isolate the calcified areas. Multiple breast tissue pieces (organoids) are placed in a minimal volume of serum free medium in a flask with a removable lid and cultured in a humidified CO₂ incubator. Epithelial and fibroblast cell populations emerge from the organoid after 10 - 14 days. Mammospheres spontaneously form on and around the epithelial cell monolayer. Specific cell populations can be harvested directly from the flask without disrupting neighboring cells. Our non-enzymatic tissue culture system reliably reveals cytogenetically abnormal, invasive progenitor cells from fresh human DCIS lesions.

PMID:
25406584
PMCID:
PMC4353433
DOI:
10.3791/51926
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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