Ultrastructural analysis of breast cancer patient-derived organoids.

Publication date: Aug 10, 2021

Breast cancer Patient Derived Organoids (PDO) have been demonstrated to be a reliable model to study cancer that promised to replace and reduce the use of animals in pre-clinical research. They displayed concordance with the tissue of origin, resuming its heterogenicity and representing a good platform to develop approaches of personalized medicines. Although obtain PDOs from mammary tumour, was a very challenging process, several ongoing studies evaluated them as a platform to study efficacy, sensitivity and specificity of new drugs and exploited them in personalized medicine. Despite tissue organization represented a crucial point to evaluate in a 3-dimensional model, since it could influence drug penetration, morphology of breast cancer PDOs has not been analysed yet. Here, we proposed a complete ultrastructural analysis of breast PDOs obtained from tumour and healthy tissues to evaluate how typical structures observed in mammary gland were resumed in this model. 81 samples of mammary tissue (healthy or tumour) resulting from surgical resections have been processed to obtain PDO. The resulting PDOs embedded in matrigel drop have been processed for transmission electron microscopy and analysed. A comparison between ones from healthy and ones from cancerous tissue has been performed and PDOs derived from tumour tissue have been stratified according to their histological and molecular subtype. The morphological analysis performed on 81 PDO revealed an organized structure rich in Golgi, secretion granules and mitochondria, which was typical of cells with a strong secretory activity and active metabolism. The presence of desmosomes, inter and intracellular lumens and of microvilli and interdigitations signified a precise tissue-organization. Each PDO has been classified based on whether or not it possessed (i) peripheral ridges in mitochondria, (ii) intracellular lumens, (iii) intercellular lumens, (iv) micro-vesicles, (v) open desmosomes, (vi) cell debris, (vii) polylobed nuclei, (viii) lysosomes and (ix) secretion granules, in order to identify features coupled with the cancerous state or with a specific histological or molecular subtype. Here we have demonstrated the suitability of breast cancer PDO as 3-dimensional model of mammary tissue. Besides, some structural features characterizing cancerous PDO have been observed, identifying the presence of distinctive traits.

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Concepts Keywords
Cancerous Branches of biology
Desmosomes Anatomy
Matrigel Stem cells
Medicine Breastfeeding
Rich Organoid
Tissue engineering
Mammary gland
Breast cancer


Type Source Name
disease MESH breast cancer
pathway KEGG Breast cancer
disease MESH cancer
pathway REACTOME Metabolism
disease MESH employment
drug DRUGBANK Nitrogen
disease MESH death
disease MESH tumorigenesis
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
drug DRUGBANK Tobramycin
disease MESH ductal carcinoma
disease MESH carcinoma
disease MESH DCIS
disease MESH lobular carcinoma
disease MESH development
drug DRUGBANK Ademetionine
drug DRUGBANK Phenobarbital
drug DRUGBANK Dextrose unspecified form
drug DRUGBANK Human Serum Albumin
drug DRUGBANK L-Glutamine
drug DRUGBANK Collagenase clostridium histolyticum
drug DRUGBANK L-Cysteine
pathway KEGG Tight junction
pathway KEGG Lysosome
drug DRUGBANK Hyaluronic acid
drug DRUGBANK Glutaral
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
drug DRUGBANK Acetate ion
drug DRUGBANK Diethylstilbestrol

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