The use of 3D cultures of MCF-10A and MCF-12A cells by high content screening for effect-based analysis of non-genotoxic carcinogens
The human breast epithelial cell lines MCF-10A and MCF-12A form well-differentiated acinus-like structures when grown in three-dimensional matrigel culture over a period of 20 days. In the present study, both cell lines were tested for their suitability to serve as an effect-based in vitro test system for non-genotoxic carcinogens. A software solution for automated Acinus Detection And Morphological Evaluation (ADAME) was developed to automatically acquire acinus images and to determine morphological parameters such as acinus size, lumen size, and acinus roundness. A number of test compounds were tested for their capacity to affect acinus formation and cellular differentiation. Human epidermal growth factor stimulated acinus growth for both cell lines whereas all-trans retinoic acid inhibited acinus growth. The strong estrogen 17β-estradiol had no effect on acinus formation of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative MCF-10A cells, but yielded larger MCF-12A (ER-positive) acini. Thus, the parallel use of both cell lines allows the identification of estrogenic properties of a given test compound.
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