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Spreading of normal and transformed fibroblasts in dense cultures

Experimental Cell Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0014-4827(75)90321-3


Abstract Cell spreading in dense cultures of normal mouse embryo fibroblasts and of the two lines of mouse transformed fibroblasts was examined by electron microscopy. The mean number of cell layers in culture and cell population density per unit area of the substrate were detetmined; the mean area of the cell projection on the substratum was found from these data. Normal fibroblasts formed multilayefed sheet in dense culture. The cells in this sheet were well-spread. These cells formed thin lamellae (lamellar cytoplasm) over the surface of other cells and over the intercellular substance. The mean cell area in dense culture was not smaller than that of the cell spread on the substratum in sparse culture. Dense cultures of two transformed lines (M 22 and L) had differing morphologies: cultures of one line (M 22) were multilayered, those of the other line (L) were monolayered. Decreased spreading and almost complete (M 22) or complete (L) absence of lamellar cytoplasm were characteristic of both transformed lines. The mean area of the cell in dense cultures of both lines was several times smaller than that of their normal progenitors. It is concluded that similar reactions leading to the spreading accompanied by the formation of lamellar cytoplasm can be induced by the contact of fibroblast with various surfaces: that of the substratum in sparse culture, that of other cells and of intercellular structures in dense culture. Deficiency of these reactions characteristic for transformed fibroblasts may be responsible for abnormal morphology of their cultures.

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