Microarray technology has burgeoned over the past few years from nucleic acid–based arrays to tissue microarrays (TMAs). This study aimed to develop a technique to incorporate cell lines into an array and to demonstrate the usefulness of this technique by performing immunohistochemistry for β-catenin. Cell suspensions were prepared from 23 tumor cell lines. These were fixed in formalin, suspended in agar, and embedded in paraffin to produce a cell block. A “tissue microarrayer” was used to remove triplicate, 0.6 mm-cores from each cell block and to transfer these into a recipient paraffin block at precise coordinates. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify cell lines positive for β-catenin. Cultured cells were successfully incorporated into the microarray, with preservation of cell architecture and even distribution of cells within each core. A total of 18 of 69 cores (26%) were lost in processing. A total of 16 of 23 cell lines were identified as positive for membrane and cytoplasmic β-catenin, and 6 of 23 were negative. Only one cell line was unscorable because of complete core loss. We have developed a “cell microarray” technique for analyzing antigen expression by immunohistochemistry in multiple cell lines in a single experiment. This novel application of microarrays permits high-throughput, cost-efficient analysis, with the potential to rapidly identify markers with potential diagnostic and therapeutic implications in human disease.
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Vol. 41 • No. 7