Induction of a malignant phenotype in BALB/c 3T3 cells by 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane

A. Colacci, A. Albini, A. Melchiori, P. Nanni, G. Nicoletti, D. Noonan, S. Parodi, S. Grilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BALB/c 3T3 cells transformed by 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, the most toxic chloroethane, acquired a fully malignant phenotype. They were capable of growing in soft agar, were tumorigenic when injected in athymic mice and produced pulmonary nodules after i.v. injection. Untreated BALB/c 3T3 cells were weakly tumorigenic (3/9 animals developed tumors after a longer time) and induced rare pulmonary nodules in a low percentage of animals. Transformed cells were also invasive in the chemoinvasion assay. Moreover, they grew in a gel of reconstituted basement membrane (matrigel), penetrating the gel and assuming a branching morphology that has been associated to the malignant phenotype. By contrast, spontaneous transformants isolated from solvent controls were poorly invasive in these assays. These results show that 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane could play a role in the late steps of multistage carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • BALB/c 3T3 cells
  • chloroethane
  • malignant transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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