A novel GFP nude rat model to investigate tumor-stroma interactions
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Backgroud: A key strategy for the study of the tumor microenvironment is to implant human tumor cells in an immunodeficient rodent strain ubiquitously expressing a fluorescent marker. Here, a novel nude rat expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene was established and engrafted with primary human tumor tissue in order to separate tumor from stromal cell populations for subsequent molecular analysis.
Methods: SD-TG (GFP) 2BalRrrc transgenic rats were crossed with HsdHan™: rnu/rnu Rowett nude rats to develop a GFP expressing immunocompromised rat. PCR and flow cytometry were used to follow the GFP genotype and phenotype in newborns. After three to four generations, animals were implanted with 4 T1 dsRed murine breast cancer cells or primary human glioblastoma (GBM) biopsies to generate xenografts for subsequent separation by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS).
Results: Fluorecence microscopy and reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated that GFP, under the control of the human ubiquitin C promoter, was stably maintained and expressed in diverse organs over several generations. Immunophenotyping of blood samples by flow cytometry confirmed that the immunodeficient features of the parental rat strain, HsdHan™: rnu/rnu, were retained in the GFP nude rat. Both the murine cell line and human GBM biopsies engrafted, and stromal cell populations were isolated from dissociated xenografts by FACS to > 95% purity.
Conclusions: A GFP transgene was stably introduced into a nude rat background in which human and murine cancer cells successfully engrafted. This animal strain provides a novel in vivo system for detailed cellular and molecular characterization of tumor-stroma interactions.
CitationCancer Cell International
Ning Yang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.