Characterization of the differentiation of human colorectal cancer cell lines by means of Voronoi diagrams

Cytometry. 1993 Oct;14(7):783-92. doi: 10.1002/cyto.990140711.


This paper describes differentiation in terms of population dynamics through the medium of Voronoi paving which enables (via digital cell image analysis) the structure of human LOVO and HCT-15 colorectal neoplastic cell colonies growing on histological slides to be characterized. Two other tests were also used, i.e., the colorimetric MTT assay that enables the cell growth level to be determined, and a test allowing the assessment of the proliferation index, i.e., the percentage of cells in the S phase of the cell cycle. The results show that these colorectal neoplastic cells exhibited a comparatively high level of organisation in terms of the topographical distribution of nuclei within the clones when the cells were cultivated in media containing even small amounts of fetal calf serum. On the other hand, certain chemically defined media completely overturned this "pseudo-tissular" architecture. Furthermore, the colorectal cells growing in media including fetal calf serum exhibited relatively large and dense clones, undergoing an increase in the density of these clones when hormones were added to the culture medium and, concomitantly, a decrease in their proliferation. In contrast, the cells growing in chemically defined media generally exhibited smaller clones whose cell proliferation was paradoxically greater than that of the cells referred to above. This seems to bring out the importance of the part played by the cell loss factor in this cell population dynamic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Analog-Digital Conversion
  • Animals
  • Blood Physiological Phenomena
  • Cattle
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Clone Cells / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorimetry
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Models, Theoretical
  • S Phase
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • Culture Media
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • thiazolyl blue