A human xenograft model for testing early events of epithelial neoplastic invasion

John R. Mccandless, Anne E. Cress, Isaac Rabinovitz, Claire M. Payne, G. Tim Bowden, J. David Knox, Ray B. Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We report on a model of human prostate tumor cell invasion using the SCID (severe combined immunodeficient) mouse diaphragm. Tumor cells were injected into SCID mice intraperitoneally and the diaphragms harvested three to five weeks later. Electron microscopy showed tumor cell penetration of the mesothelial cell layer and adhesion to the underlying basement membrane on the inferior surface of the mouse diaphragm, where colonies developed. Immunohistochemistry showed invasion by tumor cells through the basement membrane into the muscle of the diaphragm, presence of human tumor cells among the muscle cells and the presence of selected proteins on the invasion front of the tumor cells. Digital image analysis enabled quantitative comparison of events in the metastatic cascade by variants of the tumor cell line and evaluation of the effectiveness of a putative tumor inhibitor. Results suggest that the SCID mouse diaphragm model is a convenient, effective, easily oriented and reproducible in vivo model of the early events associated with human prostate tumor cell invasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997


  • SCID mice
  • integrin α6β1
  • invasion
  • laminin
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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