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Influence of culture media on the morphological differentiation of the PC-3 and DU145 prostatic neoplastic cell lines.

  • Camby, I
  • Etievant, C
  • Petein, M
  • Dedecker, R
  • van Velthoven, R
  • Danguy, A
  • Pasteels, J L
  • Kiss, R
Published Article
The Prostate
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1994
PMID: 8146067


The concept of differentiation of prostate cancer in terms of morphonuclear characteristics and population dynamics was investigated on the PC-3 and DU145 cell lines. A software based on the concept of Voronoi paving was set up in order to characterize the structure of these cell lines growing in vitro on histological slides. The morphonuclear characteristics were assessed by means of the digital cell image analyses of Feulgen-stained nuclei. The in vitro "morphonuclear" and "pseudo-tissular" differentiations of the PC-3 and DU145 cells were described in terms of the use of various culture media, i.e., media supplemented with either 10% (F10 medium) or 1% (F1 medium) fetal calf serum and with (or without) platelet-derived growth factor and dihydrotestosterone (PA10 and PA1 media). The present data reveal that the PC-3 cell line would be more hormone-sensitive than the DU145 one. Indeed, decreasing the FCS concentration in the culture medium while adding DHT and PDGF led to marked modifications to the morphonuclear characteristics of the PC-3 cells, but not to the DU145 cells. These modifications corresponded to an increase in nuclear size occurring concomitantly with chromatin decondensation. In the same way, spectacular modifications in terms of medium-induced pseudo-tissular differentiation were observed in the PC-3 cell line, but not in the DU145 one. Such modifications corresponded to an increase in clone size related to an increase in the mean distances between neighboring cell nuclei in a given clone. Thus, according to the criteria defined in this study, the PC-3 cell line would seem to maintain a higher degree of differentiation than the DU145 cell line.

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