Open Access Research article

Characterization of gastric adenocarcinoma cell lines established from CEA424/SV40 T antigen-transgenic mice with or without a human CEA transgene

Jessica Nöckel12, Natasja K van den Engel2, Hauke Winter2, Rudolf A Hatz2, Wolfgang Zimmermann1 and Robert Kammerer13*

Author Affiliations

1 Tumor Immunology Laboratory, LIFE-Center, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Marchioninistrasse 23, 81377 Munich, Germany

2 Department of Surgery, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, 81377 Munich, Germany

3 Institute for Molecular Immunology, GSF National Research Center for the Environment and Health, 81377 Munich, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:57  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-57

Published: 14 March 2006

Abstract

Background

Gastric carcinoma is one of the most frequent cancers worldwide. Patients with gastric cancer at an advanced disease stage have a poor prognosis, due to the limited efficacy of available therapies. Therefore, the development of new therapies, like immunotherapy for the treatment of gastric cancer is of utmost importance. Since the usability of existing preclinical models for the evaluation of immunotherapies for gastric adenocarcinomas is limited, the goal of the present study was to establish murine in vivo models which allow the stepwise improvement of immunotherapies for gastric cancer.

Methods

Since no murine gastric adenocarcinoma cell lines are available we established four cell lines (424GC, mGC3, mGC5, mGC8) from spontaneously developing tumors of CEA424/SV40 T antigen (CEA424/Tag) mice and three cell lines derived from double-transgenic offsprings of CEA424/Tag mice mated with human carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-transgenic (CEA424/Tag-CEA) mice (mGC2CEA, mGC4CEA, mGC11CEA). CEA424/Tag is a transgenic C57BL/6 mouse strain harboring the Tag under the control of a -424/-8 bp CEA gene promoter which leads to the development of invasive adenocarcinoma in the glandular stomach. Tumor cell lines established from CEA424/Tag-CEA mice express the well defined tumor antigen CEA under the control of its natural regulatory elements.

Results

The epithelial origin of the tumor cells was proven by morphological criteria including the presence of mucin within the cells and the expression of the cell adhesion molecules EpCAM and CEACAM1. All cell lines consistently express the transgenes CEA and/or Tag and MHC class I molecules leading to their susceptibility to lysis by Tag-specific CTL in vitro. Despite the presentation of CTL-epitopes derived from the transgene products the tumor cell lines were tumorigenic when grafted into C57BL/6, CEA424/Tag or CEA424/Tag-CEA-transgenic hosts and no significant differences in tumor take and tumor growth were observed in the different hosts. Although no spontaneous tumor rejection was observed, vaccination of C57BL/6 mice with lysates from gastric carcinoma cell lines protected C57BL/6 mice from tumor challenge, demonstrating the tumorigenicity of the tumor cell lines in nontransgenic mice of the H-2b haplotype.

Conclusion

These tumor cell lines grafted in different syngeneic hosts should prove to be very useful to optimize immunotherapy regimens to be finally tested in transgenic animals developing primary gastric carcinomas.