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Maurer BJ , Ihnat MA , Morgan C , Pullman J , O'Brien C , Johnson SW , Rasey JS , Cornwell MM
Growth of human tumor cells in macroporous microcarriers results in p53-independent, decreased cisplatin sensitivity relative to monolayers
Molecular Pharmacology. 1999 May;55(5) :938-947
PMID: ISI:000080070200018   
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Multicellular contact has been shown to influence the in vitro sensitivity of cells to drug treatment. We investigated the use of macroporous gelatin microcarriers, CultiSpher-G, as a convenient laboratory system for the molecular analysis of this "contact effect". We determined that human A549 cells can be grown in CultiSphers with growth and cell cycle parameters similar to those of monolayers. In addition, cells in CultiSphers express less p27/kip1, an indicator of cell cycle arrest, than equivalent cells in monolayers. When treated with drugs, A549 cells grown in CultiSphers or monolayers accumulate equivalent amounts of platinum-DNA adducts and similar amounts of doxorubicin. Moreover, A549 and KB-3-1 cells in CultiSphers have significantly decreased sensitivity to cis- platinum(II)diammine dichloride (cisplatin), 4- hydroperoxycyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and paclitaxel (taxol) compared with cells in monolayers when assayed by clonogenic survival. Cisplatin treatment in monolayers or CultiSphers did not result in apoptotic cell death. In contrast, paclitaxel caused a significant amount of sub-G, DNA, an indicator of apoptosis, which was diminished when cells were grown in CultiSphers compared with monolayers. When grown in CultiSphers, cells with abrogated p53 function (A549/16E6 and NCl-H1299) were less sensitive to cisplatin than the corresponding monolayer cells, indicating that the decrease in sensitivity is p53 independent. Taken together, the data suggest that CultiSpher-G microcarriers are a useful in vitro system to examine the effects of three-dimensional cell contact on drug sensitivity of human tumor cells.
Times Cited: 3 English Article 192GM MOL PHARMACOL