Few experimental studies have been conducted to clarify the mechanism of development of metastasis in scirrhous carcinoma of the stomach. In the present study, we attempted to establish gastric carcinoma cell lines by incubation of cancer cells collected from the body fluids of patients with gastric cancer. At the same time, xenografting of these cells to nude mice was performed. It was found that, of the gastric carcinoma cell lines thus established, two cell lines, designated as HSC-44PE and HSC-58, formed s.c. tumors with a high infiltrative potential (often invading the lymphatics around the cancer tissue) when implanted. Metastasis to the lymph nodes and lungs was observed in 20-40% of all the animals, indicating that the two cell lines are also capable of metastasizing spontaneously. Through repeated selection, i.e., repeated cycles of removal, culture, and implantation of the HSC cancer cells from metastatic lesions, we obtained 5 subclones of HSC-44PE and HSC-58 (designated as m2509, m2615, m2792, m2917, and m2691), which, when implanted orthotopically, exhibited the following characteristics as compared to the parent cells: (1) a higher percentage take (survival), similar frequency of metastasis, shorter time to metastasis (less than 100 days), and consistent metastasizing potential; (2) a relatively high frequency of metastasis to lymph nodes, including distant metastasis to axillary lymph nodes; (3) the potential to cause occasional bloody ascites; (4) enhanced expression of dysadherin, CD44, and other molecules. This is the first report of cultured scirrhous gastric carcinoma cells showing the potential for spontaneous metastasis.