Accession Number:



A Novel Technique to Follow Consequences of Exogenous Factors, Including Therapeutic Drugs. on Living Human Breast Epithelial Cells

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 Jul 1998-30 Jun 2001

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The goal of this research was to develop a technique for imaging living human breast epithelial cells in 3-D cultures and to evaluate their responses to the application of exogenous factors. Most model systems used to study breast cancer utilize cells growing in monolayers on plastic substrates. Although a great deal of information about cells and their responses to exogenous agents, such as therapeutic drugs, can be learned from these studies, there are also major limitations to this approach. In short, cells growing on plastic are flat, whereas cells in the body are three-dimensional. Recent data from a number of laboratories demonstrate that cells growing in monolayers do not necessarily respond to exogenous substances in the same manner as cells growing in 3-D Weaver et al., 1997. Therefore, we developed technology for imaging human mammary epithelial cells growing in a three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane. This technique enables monitoring fluorescently labeled proteins in living normal, premalignant and tumor cells. This approach can be used to detect rapid, real-time responses by these cells to the effects of a spectrum of exogenous factors, including therapeutic agents.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement: