Can you help me identify the type of cells seen in this picture?
I'm establishing cultures of T-cells from tumour fragments (melanoma patients). Sometimes we see some large dark cells around the tumour fragment and among the proliferating lymphocytes. They typically appear after a couple of weeks of culturing and then later seem to die out - or at least they are totally outnumbered by the proliferating T-cells.
Some of my colleagues think they are apoptotic tumour cells; others speculate if they are in fact clusters of minor cells of some type. The small white cells in the picture are T-cells (diam. 10-15 um), and you can also see a "clonal ball of T-cells" in the lower left corner. To me the dark cells look like "giant" single cells.
Could they for instance be melanophages - or do they look malignant? The tumour as such was dark brown (melanin).
Please, let me know if you have any suggestions : ) All comments are very welcome!
Vitting - Denmark