Separation by cell size enriches for mammary stem cell repopulation activity.

TitleSeparation by cell size enriches for mammary stem cell repopulation activity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMachado HL, Kittrell FS, Edwards D, White AN, Atkinson RL, Rosen JM, Medina D, Lewis MT
JournalStem cells translational medicine
Date Published2013 Mar

Mammary gland reconstitution experiments, as well as lineage tracing experiments, have provided evidence for the existence of adult mammary stem cells (MaSCs). In addition, cell sorting techniques for specific cell surface markers (CD24(+)CD29(H)CD49f(H)Sca1(-)) have been used to prospectively isolate MaSC-enriched populations. Although these markers enrich for cell subpopulations that harbor MaSCs, they do not identify regenerative stem cells uniquely. Here, we report that MaSCs can be further defined by the property of cell size. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting was used to analyze sizing beads and further separate populations of cells with varying degrees of forward scatter (FSC). Cells with a low FSC that were approximately <10 μm in size lacked outgrowth potential and failed to reconstitute the mammary gland when transplanted into the cleared fat pads of syngeneic mice. In contrast, cells >10 μm in size with a higher FSC had increased outgrowth potential as compared with lineage-negative (LIN(-)) control cells. Limiting dilution transplantation assays indicated that the repopulating ability of LIN(-)CD24(+)CD29(H) cells that were >10 μm in size was significantly increased as compared with cells marked by CD24 and CD29 alone. These results suggest that MaSCs can be further isolated by sorting based on size/FSC. These findings have critical implications for understanding mammary gland stem cell biology, an important requisite step for understanding the etiology of breast cancer.

Alternate JournalStem Cells Transl Med