Epithelial and fibroblast cell lines derived from a spontaneous mammary carcinoma in a MMTV/neu transgenic mouse

  • Michael J. Campbell
  • Wendy S. Wollish
  • Margaret Lobo
  • Laura J. Esserman
Articles Cell and Tissue Models


Female murine mammary tumor virus (MMTV)/neu transgenic mice, expressing a wild-type rat neu oncogene driven by an MMTV promoter, develop focal mammary adenocarcinomas that are pathologically very similar to human breast tumors. Two new cell lines were established from a mammary tumor that arose in a female MMTV/neu transgenic mouse. One of these lines, mammary carcinoma from Neu transgenic mouse A (MCNeuA), has an epithelial morphology, is cytokeratin positive, and expresses high levels of the neu transgene. Karyotyping and comparative genomic hybridization analyses demonstrated genomic alterations in the MCNeuA cell line. The other line, N202Fb3, has a fibroblast morphology, is cytokeratin negative, and expresses the neu transgene at a very low level. This cell line also expresses smooth muscle α-actin, suggesting that it is a myofibroblast line. The MCNeuA cell line is tumorigenic when injected into syngeneic MMTV/neu transgenic mice, with an in vivo doubling time of about 14 d. The rationale for establishing this tumor cell line was to provide a tumor transplantation system for rapidly assessing immunotherapeutic interventions before testing in the more cumbersome model of spontaneous tumor development in the MMTV/neu transgenic mice. Mice immunized with a Neu extracellular domain protein vaccine were protected against a subsequent inoculation of MCNeuA cells, indicating that this cell line will be useful for evaluating cancer vaccine strategies. This tumor cell line may also prove useful in studying the biological properties of the neu oncogene and its role in the malignant process. In addition, the tumor-derived fibroblast line may be useful for studying tumor-stromal cell interactions.

Key words

breast cancer cell line HER2/neu transgenic mice 


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Copyright information

© Society for In Vitro Biology 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Campbell
    • 1
  • Wendy S. Wollish
    • 1
  • Margaret Lobo
    • 1
  • Laura J. Esserman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco

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