Differing conclusions have been reached regarding the phenotypic stability of human tumors transplanted to athymic nude mice. Since previous conflicting studies of tumor histology have been largely subjective, quantitative methodology was applied to an analysis of 13 human adenocarcinoma tumor lines that were originally derived directly from surgical specimens. Glandular differentiation was quantitated, both in the original human tumor (OHT) and in a minimum of 6 serial passages of the nude mouse-grown tumors (MGT), by means of point counting. A significant change in differentiation was noted in 12 lines, with 9 showing a decrease. Variance from the OHT was most commonly noted in the initial MGT, but additional changes were also noted in 8 lines during subsequent passages. Most of the lines also showed increased necrosis in the MGTs. Since histological differentiation and necrosis are related to tumor aggressiveness, it would appear that the predominant tendency was to evolve toward a more malignant phenotype. These changes may mimic those seen in human tumor metastases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology