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Coculture system with an organotypic brain slice and 3D spheroid of carcinoma cells

Periodical: J Vis Exp ISBN: 1940-087X (Electronic) 1940-087X (Linking)  Number: 80  Date: 2013/10/23  Language: eng

Authors:Chuang, H. N., Lohaus, R., Hanisch, U. K., Binder, C., Dehghani, F., Pukrop, T.
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Patients with cerebral metastasis of carcinomas have a poor prognosis. However, the process at the metastatic site has barely been investigated, in particular the role of the resident (stromal) cells. Studies in primary carcinomas demonstrate the influence of the microenvironment on metastasis, even on prognosis(1,2). Especially the tumor associated macrophages (TAM) support migration, invasion and proliferation(3). Interestingly, the major target sites of metastasis possess tissue-specific macrophages, such as Kupffer cells in the liver or microglia in the CNS. Moreover, the metastatic sites also possess other tissue-specific cells, like astrocytes. Recently, astrocytes were demonstrated to foster proliferation and persistence of cancer cells(4,5). Therefore, functions of these tissue-specific cell types seem to be very important in the process of brain metastasis(6,7). Despite these observations, however, up to now there is no suitable in vivo/in vitro model available to directly visualize glial reactions during cerebral metastasis formation, in particular by bright field microscopy. Recent in vivo live imaging of carcinoma cells demonstrated their cerebral colonization behavior(8). However, this method is very laborious, costly and technically complex. In addition, these kinds of animal experiments are restricted to small series and come with a substantial stress for the animals (by implantation of the glass plate, injection of tumor cells, repetitive anaesthesia and long-term fixation). Furthermore, in vivo imaging is thus far limited to the visualization of the carcinoma cells, whereas interactions with resident cells have not yet been illustrated. Finally, investigations of human carcinoma cells within immunocompetent animals are impossible(8). For these reasons, we established a coculture system consisting of an organotypic mouse brain slice and epithelial cells embedded in matrigel (3D cell sphere). The 3D carcinoma cell spheres were placed directly next to

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