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Establishment of a cell line from a Japanese patient useful for generating an in vivo model of malignant pleural mesothelioma


5To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tohru@hyo-med.ac.jp


Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a refractory tumor with increasing incidence. In the present study, we established six mesothelioma cell lines possessing two allele deletions of the p16INK4A gene and one allele deletion of the neurofibromatosis type 2 gene, MM16, MM21, MM26, MM35, MM46 and MM56, from pleural effusion fluids or surgically resected tumors of Japanese patients. MM21, MM26 and MM46 cells failed to develop tumors in BALB/c-nude mice following subcutaneous inoculation. MM16 and MM35 cells slowly generated tumors at the site of subcutaneous inoculation in BALB/c-nude mice, but lost the expression of mesothelioma-related markers such as calretinin, D2-40 and Wilms’ tumor 1 in the subcutaneous tumors. On the other hand, MM56 cells rapidly generated tumors with the expression of calretinin and D2-40 in BALB/c-nude mice following subcutaneous inoculation. In addition, orthotopic implantation of MM56 cells into BALB/c-nude mice developed diffusely growing thoracic tumors by 3 weeks after implantation. Pleural effusions were observed in these mice 4 weeks after implantation. Thoracic tumors invaded aggressively into the chest wall 5 weeks after implantation and often metastasized into the lung, rib, peritoneum and pericardial cavity. On the pleural surface, MM56 cells were growing as single or multiple cell layers with the reactive mesothelium of recipient mice. These results indicate that MM56 cells can behave in a manner characteristic of human malignant pleural mesothelioma in the thoracic cavity of BALB/c-nude mice. The in vivo model using MM56 cells may be useful for studying the biological behavior of malignant pleural mesothelioma and developing its diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. (Cancer Sci 2011; 102: 648–655)