Growth and dissemination of human malignant lymphoblasts in immunosuppressed nu/nu mice

F. Cavallo, C. Riccardi, M. Forni, F. Pericle, M. C. Bosco, M. Giovarelli, A. Soleti, G. Forni

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Athymic nu/nu mice are commonly employed for the heterotransplantation of solid human tumors. Leukemias, however, have consistently proved difficult to transplant and, to enhance their take, recipient nu/nu mice have been variously immunosuppressed. In this study, the natural reactivity against human malignant T lymphoblast (PF382) of splenectomized nu/nu mice (S-nu/nu), nu/nu mice splenectomized and treated with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (SIC-nu/nu), and nu/nu mice splenectomized, irradiated and repeatedly injected with antiasialo GM1 antiserum (SIA-nu/nu) has been correlated with the in vivo growth of subcutaneous and intravenous PF382 cell challenges. SIC-nu/nu mice display a marked natural killer (NK) activity, quickly clear 135I-Urd-labelled PF382 cells injected intravenously and do not allow the growth of subcutaneous nor intravenous PF382 cell challenges. S-nu/nu mice display a slightly lower NK activity and slower clearance of 125I-Urd-labelled PF382 cells. Moreover, an intravenous PF382 cell challenge kills 56% of S-nu/nu mice. SIA-nu/nu mice have no NK activity, slowly clear 125I-Urd-labelled PF382 cells and always allow the growth of PF382 cells injected either subcutaneously or intravenously with a consistent pattern. Following the intravenous challenge, PF382 cells first metastatize to liver and kidney, then focal or diffuse infiltrations of the bone marrow and meninges become evident. SIA-nu/nu mice thus offer an interesting experimental model for study of the pathogenesis of leukemic infiltration of the meninges, and the exploration of possible therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalNatural Immunity and Cell Growth Regulation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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