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Human Mammary Luminal Epithelial Cells Contain Progenitors to Myoepithelial Cells

Description: The origin of the epithelial and myoepithelial cells in the human breast has not been delineated. In this study we have addressed whether luminal epithelial cells and myoepithelial cells are vertically connected, i.e., whether one is the precursor for the other. We used a primary culture assay allowing preservation of basic phenotypic traits of luminal epithelial and myoepithelial cells in culture. The two cell types were then separated immunomagnetically using antibodies directed against lineage-specific cell surface antigens into at best 100% purity. The cellular identity was ascertained by cytochemistry, immunoblotting, and 2-D gel electrophoresis. Luminal epithelial cells were identified by strong expression of cytokeratins 18 and 19 while myoepithelial cells were recognized by expression of vimentin and {alpha}-smooth muscle actin. We used a previously devised culture medium (CDM4) that allows vigorous expansion of proliferative myoepithelial cells and also devised a medium (CDM6) that allowed sufficient expansion of differentiated luminal epithelial cells based on addition of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor. The two different culture media supported each lineage for at least five passages without signs of interconversion. We used parallel cultures where we switched culture media, thus testing the ability of each lineage to convert to the other. Whereas the myoepithelial lineage showed no signs of interconversion, a subset of luminal epithelial cells, gradually, but distinctly, converted to myoepithelial cells. We propose that in the mature human breast, it is the luminal epithelial cell compartment that gives rise to myoepithelial cells rather than the other way around.
Date: February 1, 1999
Creator: Pechoux, Christine; Gudjonsson, Thorarinn; Ronnov-Jessen, Lone; Bissell, Mina J & Petersen, Ole
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The plasticity of human breast carcinoma cells is more than epithelial to mesenchymal conversion

Description: The human breast comprises three lineages: the luminal epithelial lineage, the myoepithelial lineage, and the mesenchymal lineage. It has been widely accepted that human breast neoplasia pertains only to the luminal epithelial lineage. In recent years, however, evidence has accumulated that neoplastic breast epithelial cells may be substantially more plastic in their differentiation repertoire than previously anticipated. Thus, along with an increasing availability of markers for the myoepithelial lineage, at least a partial differentiation towards this lineage is being revealed frequently. It has also become clear that conversions towards the mesenchymal lineage actually occur, referred to as epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Indeed, some of the so-called myofibroblasts surrounding the tumor may indeed have an epithelial origin rather than a mesenchymal origin. Because myoepithelial cells, epithelial to mesenchymal transition-derived cells, genuine stromal cells and myofibroblasts share common markers, we now need to define a more ambitious set of markers to distinguish these cell types in the microenvironment of the tumors. This is necessary because the different microenvironments may confer different clinical outcomes. The aim of this commentary is to describe some of the inherent complexities in defining cellular phenotypes in the microenvironment of breast cancer and to expand wherever possible on the implications for tumor suppression and progression.
Date: May 12, 2001
Creator: Petersen, Ole William; Nielsen, Helga Lind; Gudjonsson, Thorarinn; Villadsen, René Ronnov-Jessen, Lone & Bissell, Mina J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Normal and tumor-derived myoepithelial cells differ in their ability to interact with luminal breast epithelial cells for polarity and basement membrane deposition

Description: The signals that determine the correct polarity of breast epithelial structures in vivo are not understood. We have shown previously that luminal epithelial cells can be polarized when cultured within a reconstituted basement membrane gel. We reasoned that such cues in vivo may be given by myoepithelial cells. Accordingly, we used an assay where luminal epithelial cells are incorrectly polarized to test this hypothesis. We show that culturing human primary luminal epithelial cells within collagen-I gels leads to formation of structures with no lumina and with reverse polarity as judged by dual stainings for sialomucin, epithelial specific antigen or occludin. No basement membrane is deposited, and {beta}4-integrin staining is negative. Addition of purified human myoepithelial cells isolated from normal glands corrects the inverse polarity, and leads to formation of double-layered acini with central lumina. Among the laminins present in the human breast basement membrane (laminin-1, -5 and -10/11), laminin-1 was unique in its ability to substitute for myoepithelial cells in polarity reversal. Myoepithelial cells were purified also from four different breast cancer sources including a biphasic cell line. Three out of four samples either totally lacked the ability to interact with luminal epithelial cells, or conveyed only correction of polarity in a fraction of acini. This behavior was directly related to the ability of the tumor myoepithelial cells to produce {alpha}-1 chain of laminin. In vivo, breast carcinomas were either negative for laminin-1 (7/12 biopsies) or showed a focal, fragmented deposition of a less intensely stained basement membrane (5/12 biopsies). Dual staining with myoepithelial markers revealed that tumorassociated myoepithelial cells were either negative or weakly positive for expression of laminin-1, establishing a strong correlation between loss of laminin-1 and breast cancer. We conclude that the double-layered breast acinus may be recapitulated in culture and that one reason for the ability ...
Date: October 4, 2001
Creator: Gudjonsson, Thorarinn; Ronnov-Jessen, Lone; Villadsen, Rene; Rank, Fritz; Bissell, Mina J. & Petersen, Ole William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department