Novel syngeneic pseudo-orthotopic prostate cancer model: vascular, mitotic and apoptotic responses to castration

Microvasc Res. 2005 Jan;69(1-2):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2004.10.001.


We describe a novel syngeneic "pseudo-orthotopic" in vivo model of prostate cancer progression. Our model uses the dorsal skinfold chamber technique with fluorescence video microscopy and TRAMP-C2 tumor cells. The cells were transfected with a histone H2B-GFP fusion protein, permitting real-time measurement of tumor size, as well as mitotic and apoptotic indices. To generate a "pseudo-orthotopic" milieu, pieces of prostate tissue (10-15 mm2) from donor mice were implanted into the chambers of C57BL/6 mice. The prostate tissue grafted into the chambers retained its native vasculature, as determined by transplantation of prostate tissue from GFP transgenic mice. TRAMP-C2 prostate cancer tumor spheroids (25,000 cells) were implanted in the chamber. Without prostate tissue, TRAMP-C2 prostate tumors were poorly angiogenic, displayed low mitotic and apoptotic indices (0.7 x 10(-4)), and no significant tumor growth could be detected. TRAMP-C2 tumors growing on transplanted prostate tissue in the chamber on the other hand had mitotic indices in the order of 1.6 x 10(-4) and apoptotic indices in the order of 0.8 x 10(-4). Furthermore, tumors with stroma were highly angiogenic, and were fully vascularized within 7-10 days. During a 4-week observation period, the number of tumor cells increased by nearly 300%. We used the model to study the effects of surgical castration. The most profound response was a rapid vascular regression of the tumor vasculature. Castration also increased apoptotic indices within the tumor without significant changes in mitosis. This model may be utilized for the rapid analysis of new therapeutic candidates against prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Castration*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Mitotic Index
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Transplantation, Isogeneic
  • Tumor Burden*