A simple 3D cell culture method for studying the interactions between human Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells and patients derived Glioblastoma


We have developed a 3D biosphere model using patient-derived cells (PDCs) from glioblastoma (GBM), the major form of primary brain tumors in adult, plus cancer-activated fibroblasts (CAFs), obtained by culturing mesenchymal stem cells with GBM conditioned media. The effect of MSC/CAFs on the proliferation, cell-cell interactions, and response to treatment of PDCs was evaluated. Proliferation in the presence of CAFs was statistically lower but the spheroids formed within the 3D-biosphere were larger. A treatment for 5 days with Temozolomide (TMZ) and irradiation, the standard therapy for GBM, had a marked effect on cell number in monocultures compared to co-cultures and influenced cancer stem cells composition, similar to that observed in GBM patients. Mathematical analyses of spheroids growth and morphology confirm the similarity with GBM patients. We, thus, provide a simple and reproducible method to obtain 3D cultures from patient-derived biopsies and co-cultures with MSC with a near 100% success. This method provides the basis for relevant in vitro functional models for a better comprehension of the role of tumor microenvironment and, for precision and/or personalized medicine, potentially to predict the response to treatments for each GBM patient.
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