In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 1186–1194

Routine culturing of normal, dysplastic and malignant human mammary epithelial cells from small tissue samples

Authors

  • Joanne T. Emerman
    • Department of AnatomyUniversity of British Columbia
  • Darcy A. Wilkinson
    • Department of AnatomyUniversity of British Columbia
Rapid Communications in Cell Biology

DOI: 10.1007/BF02623697

Cite this article as:
Emerman, J.T. & Wilkinson, D.A. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol (1990) 26: 1186. doi:10.1007/BF02623697

Summary

We compared the growth and morphology of normal, dysplastic and malignant human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) in medium containing 5% human serum, a serum-free medium (32) and serum-free medium with a low Ca++ concentration. Tissues were dissociated and epithelial organoids or single cells were seeded onto collagen-coated dishes. The cells grew in serum-containing medium, but growth of fibroblasts was also stimulated. The serum-free medium consistently selected for and stimulated the growth of epithelial cells. There was little advantage in reducing the Ca++ concentration to further increase cell yield. This serum-free primary culture system allows us to routinely prouce sufficient numbers of HMEC from small tissue samples for molecular biological investigations. Furthermore, the maintenance of cells in a defined medium can provide a system for evaluating the direct effects of factors on gene expression.

Key words

human mammary epithelial cellsprimary cultureserum-free medium

Copyright information

© Tissue Culture Association 1990