Optimization of Glioblastoma Mouse Orthotopic Xenograft Models for Translational Research

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Comparative medicine


Glioblastoma is an aggressive primary brain tumor predominantly localized to the cerebral cortex. We developed a panel of patient-derived mouse orthotopic xenografts (PDOX) for preclinical drug studies by implanting cancer stem cells (CSC) cultured from fresh surgical specimens intracranially into 8-wk-old female athymic nude mice. Here we optimize the glioblastoma PDOX model by assessing the effect of implantation location on tumor growth, survival, and histologic characteristics. To trace the distribution of intracranial injections, toluidine blue dye was injected at 4 locations with defined mediolateral, anterioposterior, and dorsoventral coordinates within the cerebral cortex. Glioblastoma CSC from 4 patients and a glioblastoma nonstem-cell line were then implanted by using the same coordinates for evaluation of tumor location, growth rate, and morphologic and histologic features. Dye injections into one of the defined locations resulted in dye dissemination throughout the ventricles, whereas tumor cell implantation at the same location resulted in a much higher percentage of small multifocal ventricular tumors than did the other 3 locations tested. Ventricular tumors were associated with a lower tumor growth rate, as measured by in vivo bioluminescence imaging, and decreased survival in 4 of 5 cell lines. In addition, tissue oxygenation, vasculature, and the expression of astrocytic markers were altered in ventricular tumors compared with nonventricular tumors. Based on this information, we identified an optimal implantation location that avoided the ventricles and favored cortical tumor growth. To assess the effects of stress from oral drug administration, mice that underwent daily gavage were compared with stress-positive and -negative control groups. Oral gavage procedures did not significantly affect the survival of the implanted mice or physiologic measurements of stress. Our findings document the importance of optimization of the implantation site for preclinical mouse models of glioblastoma.

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Animals; Brain Neoplasms; Cell Line, Tumor; Cell Proliferation; Cell Survival; Female; Glioblastoma; Handling (Psychology); Heterografts; Humans; Mice, Nude; Neoplasm Transplantation; Neoplastic Stem Cells; Stress, Psychological; Time Factors; Translational Medical Research; Tumor Burden

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