We developed two different models based on in vitro co-culture of hormone-dependent and hormone-independent cell lines to simulate the cell population heterogeneity of human breast cancer tumours. Oestrogen-dependent (MCF-7, ZR 75.1) and oestrogen-independent cell lines (MDAMB-231 BT-20) were grown under serum-free conditions. Co-culture of hormone-dependent and hormone-independent cell lines resulted in an increased cell yield compared to single cell cultures carried out at the same seeding ratios. Such an increase was not affected by addition of oestradiol and single growth factors (EGF, bFGF and IGF-I). These results allow us to conclude that in a heterogeneous cell population like human breast tumours, interaction between hormone-dependent and hormone-independent cell lines may result in a complex regulation of cell growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research