Neoplastic cells acquire multidrug resistance as they assemble into multicellular spheroids. Image analysis and Monte Carlo simulation provided an insight into the adhesion and motility events during spheroid restructuring in liquid-overlay culture of DU 145 and LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. Irregularly shaped, two-dimensional aggregates restructured through incremental cell movements into three-dimensional spheroids. Of the two cultures examined, restructuring was more pronounced for DU 145 aggregates. Motile DU 145 cells formed spheroids with a minimum cell overlay of 30% for 25-mers as estimated by simulation versus 5% for adhesive LNCaP cells in aggregates of the same size. Over 72 h, the texture ratio increased from 0.55 ± 0.05 for DU 145 aggregates with projected areas exceeding 2000 μm2 to a value approaching 0.75 ± 0.02 (P < 0.05). For LNCaP aggregates of comparable size, the increase in texture ratio was more modest, less than 15% during the same time period (P < 0.05). Combined, these data suggest that motility events govern the overall rate of spheroid restructuring. This information has application to the chemosensitization of solid tumors and kinetic modeling of spheroid production.
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Vol. 40 • No. 8