MCA Sarcomas Induced in scid Mice are More Immunogenic than MCA Sarcomas Induced in Congenic, Immunocompetent Mice



With the aim of studying possible T-cell mediated selection of the cells in growing tumours, 108 mice of the C.B-17 strain, either immunocompetent C.B-17 mice or histocompatible immunodeficient C.B-17 severe combined immune deficiency (scid) were treated with 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA) in two different dosages. A total of 51 tumours were obtained, 44 of which were established as uncloned tumour cell lines, and used for further study. Tumour incidence correlated with carcinogen-dosage in that more tumours developed in groups treated with a high MCA dose than in groups treated with a low MCA dose, but not with immune status of the tumour host. No significant difference in the level of MHC class I molecule expression was found between the two groups of tumours. The rate of rejection after transplantation to syngeneic immunocompetent hosts was significantly higher for the scid tumours than for the non-scid tumours. The authors suggest that this reflects an immunoselection performed by T cells in the immunocompetent host in which the tumour originated, which has eliminated highly immunogenic tumour cells, leaving non-immunogenic tumour cells to grow.