Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 405–415 | Cite as

The role of extracellular matrix in human astrocytoma migration and proliferation studied in a microliter scale assay

  • Michael E. Berens
  • Monique D. Rief
  • Melinda A. Loo
  • Alf Giese
Research Papers


Ligands in the extracellular matrix (ECM) are known to mediate migration of normal as well as tumor cells via adhesion molecules such as the integrin receptor family. We developed a microliter scale (15-20futotal volume) monolayer migration assay to investigate the ability of astrocytoma cells to disperse on surfaces coated with purified human ECM protein ligands. In this system the rate of radial migration of the cell population was constant over time. For human astrocytoma cell lines U-251 and SF-767, laminin and collagen type IV supported a migratory phenotype; fibronectin and vitronectin only minimally supported migration. The different ECM proteins also influenced growth rate: cells on laminin and collagen had a protracted lag phase. Furthermore, migrating cells seeded on laminin or collagen showed a lower labeling index than did stationary cells in the central, crowded region on the same substrate. This micro-scale migration assay should enable detailed molecular and biochemical studies of the determinants of migration.


astrocytoma extracellular matrix integrins migration proliferation 


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Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Berens
    • 1
  • Monique D. Rief
    • 1
  • Melinda A. Loo
    • 1
  • Alf Giese
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuro-Oncology LaboratoryBarrow Neurological Institute of Saint Joseph's Hospital and Medical CenterPhoenixUSA

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