New on Mechanisms of three-dimensional growth of thyroid cells during long-term simulated microgravity

Published online by Scientific Reports, this article by Sascha Kopp, Elisabeth Warnke, Markus Wehland, Ganna Aleshcheva and Manfred Infanger (Otto-von Guericke-University, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany), Ruth Hemmersbach (DLR German Aerospace Centre, 51147 Cologne, Germany), Thomas Juhl Corydon, Daniela Grimm and Nils E. Magnusson (Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark) and Johann Bauer (Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry Martinsried, 82152 Martinsried, Germany) is now available to view.


Three-dimensional multicellular spheroids (MCS) of human cells are important in cancer research. We investigated possible mechanisms of MCS formation of thyroid cells. Both, normal Nthy-ori 3–1 thyroid cells and the poorly differentiated follicular thyroid cancer cells FTC-133 formed MCS within 7 and 14 days of culturing on a Random Positioning Machine (RPM), while a part of the cells continued to grow adherently in each culture. The FTC-133 cancer cells formed larger and numerous MCS than the normal cells. In order to explain the different behaviour, we analyzed the gene expression of IL6, IL7, IL8, IL17, OPN, NGAL,VEGFA and enzymes associated cytoskeletal or membrane proteins (ACTB, TUBB, PFN1, CPNE1, TGM2, CD44, FLT1, FLK1, PKB, PKC, ERK1/2, Casp9, Col1A1) as well as the amount of secreted proteins (IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-17, OPN, NGAL, VEGFA). Several of these components changed during RPM-exposure in each cell line. Striking differences between normal and malignant cells were observed in regards to the expression of genes of NGAL, VEGFA, OPN, IL6 and IL17 and to the secretion of VEGFA, IL-17, and IL-6. These results suggest several gravi-sensitive growth or angiogenesis factors being involved in 3D formation of thyroid cells cultured under simulated microgravity.

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