Characterization of cell lines established from human gastric-esophageal adenocarcinomas. Biologic phenotype and invasion potential

Cancer. 1993 Aug 1;72(3):649-57. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19930801)72:3<649::aid-cncr2820720305>;2-l.


Background: Gastric carcinoma is one of the most common malignancies worldwide, with an overall survival of about 10%. Improvement in therapy awaits better understanding of the biologic behavior of this tumor. Establishment of cell lines permits detailed analysis of the biology of gastric cancer. The authors report on the establishment and characterization of five cell lines arising from primary proximal gastric and distal esophageal adenocarcinomas.

Methods: Cultures of epithelial cells from adenocarcinomas of the proximal stomach or adenocarcinoma of the lower esophagus were established. Gastric cancer cell lines were analyzed for doubling times, anchorage-independent growth, tumorigenic and metastatic potential in nu/nu mice, expression of keratin proteins by indirect immunofluorescence, invasive potential in a Boyden Chamber, and growth factor production by reverse transcription of mRNA in cDNA and subsequent amplification by the polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Five cell lines were derived from primary gastric adenocarcinomas of the proximal stomach and from Barrett esophagus. All five cell lines were tumorigenic but not metastatic in vivo. None were capable of anchorage independent growth in vitro. Two lines were highly invasive in the Boyden chamber assay, whereas two lines were minimally or noninvasive. All five cell lines expressed RNA transcripts specific for the growth factors TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2, TGF beta 3, TGF alpha, and platelet-derived growth factor A, whereas subsets of cell lines expressed transcripts for aFGF, bFGF, FGF-5, Hst, and platelet-derived growth factor B.

Conclusions: Five cell lines derived from primary gastric-esophageal adenocarcinomas were established in tissue culture. These cell lines show differences in morphologic features, growth potential, and invasiveness. These newly established gastric cancer cell lines should prove useful for a wide range of studies attempting to decipher the biology of proximal gastric adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Cell Line*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenotype
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / cytology*


  • Growth Substances