Relevance of density, size and DNA content of tumour cells to the lung colony assay

Br J Cancer. 1977 Dec;36(6):659-69. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1977.248.


Mouse fibrosarcoma tumours were dissociated and divided into subpopulations of viable cells by centrifugation in linear density gradients of Renografin. Two of these subpopulations, designated Band 2 and Band 4, differed in their clonogenic ability in lung colony assay. The less dense Band 2 cells were significantly more clonogenic than the Band 4 cells (2.9 percent vs 1.4 percent respectively). Each band was further separated on the basis of cell size by centrifugal elutriation. Each size class of cells comprising Band 2 showed higher clonogenic ability than the corresponding size class in Band 4. Thus cell size differences were not responsible for the clonogenic differences between these bands. To determine whether cell-cycle distribution of the tumour cells was responsible for differences in cloning efficiency, flow microfluorometric and premature chromosome condensation methods were utilized. The unseparated and Band 4 populations showed a higher percentage of cells in S and G2 than did the Band 2 populations, but many of the S and G2 tumour cells showed extensive chromosome damage. From this study we conclude that the increased clonogenic ability of the lighter tumour cells is not due to differences in cell size or cell-cycle parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Separation
  • Chromosomes
  • Clone Cells
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Fibrosarcoma / ultrastructure
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Sarcoma, Experimental


  • DNA, Neoplasm