Optimization of a Luciferase-Expressing Non-Invasive Intrapleural Model of Malignant Mesothelioma in Immunocompetent Mice

Elisabeth Digifico, Marco Erreni, Federico Simone Colombo, Camilla Recordati, Roberta Migliore, Roberta Frapolli, Maurizio D'Incalci, Cristina Belgiovine, Paola Allavena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor of the pleural lining that is usually identified at advanced stages and resistant to current therapies. Appropriate pre-clinical mouse tumor models are of pivotal importance to study its biology. Usually, tumor cells have been injected intraperitoneally or subcutaneously. Using three available murine mesothelioma cell lines with different histotypes (sarcomatoid, biphasic, epithelioid), we have set up a simplified model of in vivo growth orthotopically by inoculating tumor cells directly in the thorax with a minimally invasive procedure. Mesothelioma tumors grew along the pleura and spread on the superficial areas of the lungs, but no masses were found outside the thoracic cavity. As observed in human MPM, tumors were highly infiltrated by macrophages and T cells. The luciferase-expressing cells can be visualized in vivo by bioluminescent optical imaging to precisely quantify tumor growth over time. Notably, the bioluminescence signal detected in vivo correctly matched the tumor burden quantified with classical histology. In contrast, the subcutaneous or intraperitoneal growth of these mesothelioma cells was considered either non-representative of the human disease or unreliable to precisely quantify tumor load. Our non-invasive in vivo model of mesothelioma is simple and reproducible, and it reliably recapitulates the human disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancers
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2020

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