Brain cancers of the the central nervous system include neuroblastomas, gliomas, meningiomas and pituitary adenomas. One of the most aggressive brain tumors are astrocyte-derived glioblastoma multiforme, of which the U-87 MG glioblastoma cell line (89081402) was derived. The 3-dimensional neurosphere cell culture technique was first described by Reynolds and Weiss (1992) (9) and involves the culture of neural stem cells in freely-floating spherical clusters termed neurospheres. Neurospheres from brain-derived tumors are thought to develop from cancer stem cell (CSC) subpopulations within the tumor when grown in a 3D environment. These cancer stem cell populations express stem cell related markers Nestin and Sox2 while lacking GFAP. The 3D culture of brain-derived cancer cells is considered to be a more biologically relevant cell culture model maintaining the original malignant tumor phenotype.
Adherent brain cancer cells cultured in fetal bovine serum (FBS) undergo unwanted phenotype changes and cell differentiation, while culturing in 3D neurospheres in serum-free conditions maintains the original properties of the primary tumor (1). However, conventional serum-free media for culturing neurospheres struggle to efficiently maintain the self-renewing subpopulations of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Consequently, the stem cell population is gradually lost overtime along with the cell proliferation rates. The PromoCell 3D Tumorsphere Media XF (C-28070, C-28075) is designed to serially passage brain tumor derived cell lines as undifferentiated 3D neurospheres with high cell proliferation rates. It’s defined and serum-free formualtion allows consistent and standardized expansion of neurospheres while maintaining the cancer stem cell characteristics such as self-renewal and chemoresistance.
Figure 1. Cell proliferation rates of U-87 MG glioblastoma cells during 3D neurosphere culture.Neurosphere proliferation rates of U-87 MG glioblastoma cells (89081402) were higher over 11 passages in Promocell’s 3D Tumosphere Media XF vs. other competitior neurosphere culture media.
Figure 2. U-87 MG cells cultured as 3D neurospheres.Neurospheres cultured in PromoCell’s 3D Tumorsphere Media XF produces higher proliferation rates and larger neurospheres over multiple passages (P10) compared to competitor products (100X magnification).