Analytical Cellular Pathology

Analytical Cellular Pathology / 2010 / Article

Open Access

Volume 32 |Article ID 985981 | 10 pages |

Novel In Vitro Assays for the Characterization of EMT in Tumourigenesis


Background: Two novel assays quantifying Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) were compared to traditional motility and migration assays. TGF-β1 treatment of AY-27 rat bladder cancer cells acted as a model of EMT in tumourigenesis.Methods: AY-27 rat bladder cancer cells incubated with 3 ng/ml TGF-β1 or control media for 24 or 48 h were assessed using novel and traditional assays. The Spindle Index, a novel measure of spindle phenotype, was derived from the ratio of maximum length to maximum width of cells. The area covered by cells which migrated from a fixed coverslip towards supplemented agarose was measured in a novel chemoattractant assay. Motility, migration and immunoreactivity for E-cadherin, Vimentin and cytokeratin were assessed.Results: TGF-β1 treated cells had increased “spindle” phenotype together with decreased E-cadherin, decreased Cytokeratin-18 and increased Vimentin immunoreactivity. After 48 h, the mean Spindle Index of TGF-β1 treated cells was significantly higher than Mock (p=0.02, Bonferroni test) and there were significant differences in migration across treatment groups measured using the novel chemoattractant assay (p=0.02, Chi-square). TGF-β1 significantly increased matrigel invasion.Conclusions: The Spindle Index and the novel chemoattractant assay are valuable adjunctive assays for objective characterization of EMT changes during tumourigenesis.

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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