2017 Volume 79 Issue 7 Pages 1155-1162
Cancer stem cells or tumor-initiating cells (TICs) are a small subpopulation of cells that have the capacity to self-renew, differentiate and initiate tumors. These cells may function in tumor initiation, aggression and recurrence. Whether spheres derived from canine rhabdomyosarcoma cells have stem cell-like properties is unclear. We induced sphere formation in the canine rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines, CMS-C and CMS-J, and characterized the spheres in vitro and in vivo. Sphere-forming cells were more resistant to vincristine, mitoxantrone and doxorubicin than adherent cells. Xenograft transplantation demonstrated that 1 × 103 sphere-forming cells derived from CMS-C were sufficient for tumor formation. The sphere assay showed that the sphere-forming cells were present in these tumors. These results suggest that the spheres derived from canine rhabdomyosarcoma cells may possess characteristics of TICs. This study provides the foundation for elucidating the contribution of TICs to rhabdomyosarcoma tumorigenesis.