Oncology: International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment vol:46 issue:6 pages:391-399
We describe an original method to monitor clonal cell density (hyperplasia) and the cell cycle kinetics of neoplastic cells simultaneously. We thus characterize the in vitro influence of two different types of fetal calf serum (FCS), defined as FCS-S and FCS-I, on the progesterone- or estradiol-induced effect on proliferation and cell cycle kinetic parameters of the MXT mouse and MCF-7 human mammary cancer cell lines. The two sera were treated with dextran-coated charcoal. The FCS-S serum showed a stimulatory influence on MXT and MCF-7 growth, whereas FCS-I was devoid of any clear-cut influence. The cells were cultured on glass coverslips, placed in Petri dishes containing either a control or a hormone-added medium, fixed for histology and submitted to the Feulgen reaction, which allows selective and quantitative (stoichiometric) staining of DNA. Proliferation and cell cycle kinetics were analyzed on the same sample of cells by means of the SAMBA 200 cell image processor. Our results show that steroid-mediated effects were dramatically modulated according to the type of serum used. Furthermore, they also show that pharmacological doses of progesterone or estradiol decrease MXT cell growth by at least two different mechanisms: the first is related to cell cycle kinetics, i.e. an inhibition of the cells into the S phase, while the second remains unknown but seems to be cell cycle independent. High dose estradiol, but not progesterone, induced the same inhibitory influence on the MCF-7 cells.