Differential transplantability of tumor-associated stromal cells

Cancer Res. 2004 Sep 1;64(17):5920-4. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-1268.


At the time of transplantation, tumor fragments contain "passenger" cells: endothelial cells and other stromal cells from the original host. Here, we investigated the fate of genetically labeled endothelial and nonendothelial stromal cells after transplantation in syngeneic mice. We report that angiogenic stroma associated with tumor or adipose tissue persists when transplanted, remains functional, and governs the initial neovascularization of grafted tissue fragments for more than 4 weeks after implantation. Surprisingly, the passenger endothelial cells survive longer than other stromal cells, which are replaced by host-activated fibroblasts after 3 weeks. The transplantability of tumor stroma suggests that the angiogenic potential of a tumor xenograft, which determines its viability, depends on the presence of passenger endothelial cells and other stromal cells within the xenograft. These studies of tumor tissue transplantation provide a platform for exploring the role of epithelial-stromal interactions in studies of tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / blood supply*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Transplantation*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / biosynthesis


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A