Quantitative characterization of domes in primary mouse mammary epithelial tumor cell cultures

Lawrence J.T. Young, Robert Cardiff, Thomas Seeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Dome populations from primary cultures of mouse mammary tumor cells were quantitatively studied in regard to size, distribution, density and the area occupied by light-diffusion photography and image analysis. The effects of fetal bovine serum, insulin and hydrocortisone were analyzed. Quantitative characterization documented dome diameter (mode diameter 0.26 to 0.52 mm), dome area occupied (average 23%, maximum 38.7%), and density (average 78 domes per cm2, maximum 117 domes per cm2) for standard culture conditions. Insulin and hydrocortisone had a primary effect on dome density whereas 15% fetal bovine serum had a minimal effect. However, insulin and hydrocortisone had a synergistic optimal effect on dome population. Time-lapse cinematography revealed that the dome population is not static, but a very dynamic one. Domes underwent irregular pulsations of expansion and contraction. Dome enlargement was either by a series of expansions and contractions, by lateral involvement of other cells, or by coalescence of two or more domes. Domes have been considered to be the in vitro counterpart of the in vivo acinus of the mouse mammary gland. However, quantitative dome population characterization has not been available. Dome analysis by light-diffraction photography and image analysis lends itself towards correlative studies of domes and their differentiative products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-902
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978


  • domes
  • hormone synergism
  • image analysis
  • light-diffraction photography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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