Objectives: In this study, we quantify growth variability of tumour cell clones from a human leukaemia cell line. Materials and methods: We have used microplate spectrophotometry to measure growth kinetics of hundreds of individual cell clones from the Molt3 cell line. Growth rate of each clonal population has been estimated by fitting experimental data with the logistic equation. Results: Growth rates were observed to vary between different clones. Up to six clones with growth rates above or below mean growth rate of the parent population were further cloned and growth rates of their offspring were measured. Distribution of growth rates of the subclones did not significantly differ from that of the parent population, thus suggesting that growth variability has an epigenetic origin. To explain observed distributions of clonal growth rates, we have developed a probabilistic model, assuming that fluctuation in the number of mitochondria through successive cell cycles is the leading cause of growth variability. For fitting purposes, we have estimated experimentally by flow cytometry the average maximum number of mitochondria in Molt3 cells. The model fits nicely observed distributions in growth rates; however, cells in which mitochondria were rendered non-functional (ρ0 cells) showed only 30% reduction in clonal growth variability with respect to normal cells. Conclusions: A tumour cell population is a dynamic ensemble of clones with highly variable growth rates. At least part of this variability is due to fluctuations in the initial number of mitochondria in daughter cells.

A quantitative study on the growth variability of tumour cell clones in vitro

TOMELLERI, Carlo;DALLA PELLEGRINA, CHIARA;PERBELLINI, Omar;SCUPOLI, Maria;CHIGNOLA, Roberto
2008

Abstract

Objectives: In this study, we quantify growth variability of tumour cell clones from a human leukaemia cell line. Materials and methods: We have used microplate spectrophotometry to measure growth kinetics of hundreds of individual cell clones from the Molt3 cell line. Growth rate of each clonal population has been estimated by fitting experimental data with the logistic equation. Results: Growth rates were observed to vary between different clones. Up to six clones with growth rates above or below mean growth rate of the parent population were further cloned and growth rates of their offspring were measured. Distribution of growth rates of the subclones did not significantly differ from that of the parent population, thus suggesting that growth variability has an epigenetic origin. To explain observed distributions of clonal growth rates, we have developed a probabilistic model, assuming that fluctuation in the number of mitochondria through successive cell cycles is the leading cause of growth variability. For fitting purposes, we have estimated experimentally by flow cytometry the average maximum number of mitochondria in Molt3 cells. The model fits nicely observed distributions in growth rates; however, cells in which mitochondria were rendered non-functional (ρ0 cells) showed only 30% reduction in clonal growth variability with respect to normal cells. Conclusions: A tumour cell population is a dynamic ensemble of clones with highly variable growth rates. At least part of this variability is due to fluctuations in the initial number of mitochondria in daughter cells.
growth variability; modeling; tumor cells
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/308438
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