Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The monoclonal antibodies 38S1, directed against the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), were tested for penetration and binding in human colon carcinoma HT-29 spheroids. Penetration was studied with a method which has not previously been used in immunological investigations. The method, which allows unbound substances to be visualized, is based on freeze drying, vapour fixation, dry sectioning and dry autoradiography. The antibodies penetrated easily and all parts of the HT-29 spheroids seemed to be reached within 15 min. The penetration was even faster than in control glioma U-118MG spheroids that did not express CEA. Binding of the 38S1 antibodies was demonstrated after processing with conventional histology and autoradiography. The binding in the HT-29 spheroids was, after a 1-h incubation period, extremely heterogeneous and occurred mainly in the peripheral parts. More cells were binding the antibodies after 8-h and 32-h incubations and these cells were arranged in peripheral clusters. No binding at all was seen in the CEA-negative glioma spheroids. The distribution of CEA antigens in monolayers and in frozen sections of spheroids of HT-29 cells was analysed with immunohistochemical staining using polyclonal CEA antibodies. The CEA antigens were heterogeneously distributed in both spheroids and monolayers and were as heterogeneous as the binding of the monoclonal antibodies in the living spheroids. Thus, the heterogeneous binding in the living spheroids was not due to penetration barriers, but instead to the heterogeneity in the CEA antigen expression.
Type of Medium: