Cancer Biology

Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 4140 Views May 20, 2020
Differential exposure of tumor cells to microenvironmental cues greatly impacts cell phenotypes, raising a need for position based sorting of tumor cells amenable to multiple OMICs and functional analyses. One such key determinant of tumor heterogeneity in solid tumors is its vasculature. Proximity to blood vessels (BVs) profoundly affects tumor cell phenotypes due to differential availability of oxygen, gradient exposure to blood-borne substances and inputs by angiocrine factors. To unravel the whole spectrum of genes, pathways and phenotypes impacted by BVs and to determine spatial domains of vascular influences, we developed a methodology for sorting tumor cells according to their relative distance from BVs. The procedure exemplified here using glioblastoma (GBM) model is based on differential uptake of intra-venously injected, freely-diffusing fluorescent dye that allows separation of stroma-free tumor cells residing in different, successive microenvironments amenable for subsequent OMICs and functional analyses. This reliable, easy to use, cost effective strategy can be extended to all solid tumors to study the impact of vasculature or the lack of it.
0 Q&A 5393 Views Sep 20, 2019
Dissolved oxygen and its availability to cells in culture is an overlooked variable which can have significant consequences on experimental research outcomes, including reproducibility. Oxygen sensing pathways play key roles in cell growth and behavior and pericellular oxygen levels should be controlled when establishing in vitro models. Standard cell culture techniques do not have adequate control over pericellular oxygen levels. Slow diffusion through culture media limits the precision of oxygen delivery to cells, making it difficult to accurately reproduce in vivo-like oxygen conditions. Furthermore, different types of cells consume oxygen at varying rates and this can be affected by the density of growing cells. Here, we describe a novel in vitro system that utilizes hypoxic chambers and oxygen-permeable culture dishes to control pericellular oxygen levels and provide rapid oxygen delivery to adherent cells. This procedure is particularly relevant for protocols studying effects of rapid oxygen changes or intermittent hypoxia on cellular behavior. The system is inexpensive and easily assembled without highly specialized equipment.

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