Original Research

Biomedical Research and Therapy

, 2:14

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

In vitro spontaneous differentiation of human breast cancer stem cells and methods to control this process

  • Phuc Van PhamAffiliated withLaboratory of Stem Cell Research and Application, University of Science, Vietnam National UniversityFaculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University Email author 
  • , Binh Thanh VuAffiliated withLaboratory of Stem Cell Research and Application, University of Science, Vietnam National UniversityFaculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University
  • , Nhan Lu-Chinh PhanAffiliated withLaboratory of Stem Cell Research and Application, University of Science, Vietnam National UniversityFaculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University
  • , Hanh Thi LeAffiliated withLaboratory of Stem Cell Research and Application, University of Science, Vietnam National UniversityFaculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University
  • , Ngoc Kim PhanAffiliated withLaboratory of Stem Cell Research and Application, University of Science, Vietnam National UniversityFaculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University

Abstract

Breast cancer is said to originate from breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). Previous published studies showed that BCSCsexhibited a high degree of multi-drug resistance. This study aimed to evaluate the spontaneous differentiation of human BCSCs and investigate various in vitro conditions that could be used to control this process. BCSCs were sorted from primary cultures of breast malignant tumors based on expression of CD44 and CD24. The in vitro spontaneous differentiation of BCSCs was evaluated using standard DMEM/F12 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and 1% antibiotic-antimycotic. There were six different methods tried to control the spontaneous differentiation of BCSCs including culturing in serum-free medium, mammosphere medium, basic fibroblast growth factor and epidermal growth factor supplemented medium with serum, and culturing under hypoxic conditions. The results showed that BCSCs always spontaneously differentiated in vitro in standard DMEM/F12 plus 10% FBS culture medium. All investigated culture conditions could not completely inhibit the spontaneous differentiation of BCSCs. Serum-free culture medium under hypoxic conditions (mammosphere culture) had the strongest inhibitory effect on this process. These results demonstrated that spontaneous differentiation is a natural process of BCSCs; therefore this process may be somewhat controlled depending on the culture conditions.

Keywords

Breast cancer stem cells Breast cancer cells Spontaneous differentiation Stemness Stem cell culture