Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Fragments of human breast epithelium, devoid of all stromal and basal lamina components, which maintain their in vivo topological organisation can be cultured for up to 28 days within a reconstituted rat-tail-derived collagen matrix. These organoids initially undergo a loss of structural and 3-dimensional organisation, typified by loss of lumina formed by epithelial cells, and myosin from myoepithelial cells. Their subsequent reorganisation is dependent on the presence of serum, insulin, hydrocortisone, and cholera toxin in tissue culture medium. After this preliminary phase, a reduction in the concentration of serum, insulin, hydrocortisone, and cholera toxin is necessary to allow the structural differentiation of epithelial and myoepithelial cells. The myoepithelial cells also regain their ability to produce the basal lamina component laminin. The use of bovine-dermal collagen as the matrix, rather than rat-tail-derived collagen is shown to result in more stable organisation and differentiation of the organoids. The successful use of single-cell pellets (derived by trypsinisation of the organoids) in place of organoids in such cultures illustrates that there is no requirement for pre-existing cell/ cell contact or topological organisation of cells prior to embedding within the collagen matrix.
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