BMC cancer

Primary myeloma interaction and growth in coculture with healthy donor hematopoietic bone marrow.

PMID 26545722


Human primary myeloma (MM) cells do not survive in culture; current in vitro and in vivo systems for growing these cells are limited to coculture with a specific bone marrow (BM) cell type or growth in an immunodeficient animal model. The purpose of the study is to establish an interactive healthy donor whole BM based culture system capable of maintaining prolonged survival of primary MM cells. This normal BM (NBM) coculture system is different from using autologous BM that is already affected by the disease. Whole BM from healthy donors was cultured in medium supplemented with BM serum from MM patients for 7 days, followed by 7 days of coculture with CD138-selected primary MM cells or MM cell lines. MM cells in the coculture were quantified using flow cytometry or bioluminescence of luciferase-expressing MM cells. T-cell cytokine array and proteomics were performed to identify secreted factors. NBM is composed of adherent and nonadherent compartments containing typical hematopoietic and mesenchymal cells. MM cells, or a subset of MM cells, from all examined cases survived and grew in this system, regardless of the MM cells' molecular risk or subtype, and growth was comparable to coculture with individual stromal cell types. Adherent and nonadherent compartments supported MM growth, and this support required patient serum for optimal growth. Increased levels of MM growth factors IL-6 and IL-10 along with MM clinical markers B2M and LDHA were detected in supernatants from the NBM coculture than from the BM cultured alone. Levels of extracellular matrix factors (e.g., MMP1, HMCN1, COL3A1, ACAN) and immunomodulatory factors (e.g., IFI16, LILRB4, PTPN6, AZGP1) were changed in the coculture system. The NBM system protected MM cells from dexamethasone but not bortezomib, and effects of lenalidomide varied. The NBM system demonstrates the ability of primary MM plasma cells to interact with and to survive in coculture with healthy adult BM. This model is suitable for studying MM-microenvironment interactions, particularly at the early stage of engagement in new BM niches, and for characterizing MM cell subpopulations capable of long-term survival through secretion of extracellular matrix and immune-related factors.