J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019 Feb;145(2):373-381. doi: 10.1007/s00432-018-2798-y. Epub 2018 Nov 23.
Spatiotemporal characteristics of fibroblasts-dependent cancer cell invasion.
PURPOSE: Cancer cells can invade the surrounding stroma with the aid of fibroblasts (fibroblasts-dependent invasion). The aim of this study was to explore the spatiotemporal characteristics of fibroblast-dependent invasion of cancer cells.
METHODS: We performed an in vitro three-dimensional collagen invasion assay using Fluorescent Ubiquitination-based Cell Cycle indicator (Fucci)-labeled A431 carcinoma cells co-cultured with fibroblasts. We used time-lapse imaging to analyze the total cell number, frequencies of small cancer cell nests and S/G2/M phase of A431 cells in the invasion area. We compared the frequencies of small cancer cell nests and geminin (+) cancer cells within fibroblast-rich areas and fibroblast-poor areas in surgically resected human invasive squamous cell carcinoma tissue.
RESULTS: The total invasion number of A431 cells was significantly higher when cultured with fibroblasts than without. The formation of small cancer cell nests was observed within the invasion area only in the presence of fibroblasts. The frequency of S/G2/M phase cells was significantly higher in A431 cells when cultured with fibroblasts than without. Immunohistochemical analysis of surgically resected human invasive squamous cell carcinoma tissue revealed that the frequencies of small cancer cell nests and geminin-positive cancer cells were significantly higher in fibroblast-rich areas compared to those in fibroblast-poor areas within the same tumor region.
CONCLUSION: Our current study clearly showed that fibroblast-dependent cancer cell invasion was characterized by the progression in cell cycle and formation of small cancer cell nests.