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Resistance of multicellular aggregates to pharmorubicin observed in human hepatocarcinoma cells

Author(s): Jianmin Z. | Hongfang W. | Meifu F.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
ISSN 0100-879X

Volume: 35;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 255;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma | Spheroids | Drug resistance | Microcarrier | Epirubicin

The objective of the present study was to investigate the multicellular resistance of human hepatocarcinoma cells BEL-7402 to pharmorubicin. Cells (1 x 10(4)) and 200 microcarrier Cytodex-3 beads were seeded onto a 24-well plate and cultured in RPMI 1640 medium. After the formation of multicellular aggregates, morphology and cell viability were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and flow cytometry, respectively. The IC50 was determined by flow cytometry and MTT assay after the cells cultured in aggregates and monolayers were treated with pharmorubicin. The culture products exhibited structural characteristics somewhat similar to those of trabecular hepatocarcinoma in vivo. Among the microcarriers, cells were organized into several layers. Intercellular spaces were 0.5-2.0 ┬Ám wide and filled with many microvilli. The percent of viable cells was 87%. The cells cultured as multicellular aggregates were resistant to pharmorubicin with IC50 4.5-fold and 7.7-fold that of monolayer culture as determined by flow cytometry and MTT assay, respectively. This three-dimensional culture model may be used to investigate the mechanisms of multicellular drug resistance of hepatocarcinoma and to screen new anticancer drugs.
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Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona