Natural killer cells in breast cancer cell growth and metastasis in SCID mice

Biomed Pharmacother. 2005 Oct;59 Suppl 2:S375-9. doi: 10.1016/s0753-3322(05)80082-4.


Natural killer (NK) cell is an important component of the innate immune system and plays a central role in host defense against tumor and virus-infected cells. This review briefly summarizes the role of murine NK cells in tumor growth and metastasis of breast cancer cells in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Conventional SCID and NOD-SCID strains have been used to study for xenotransplantion of human tumors. SCID mice models of cancer mimic human diseases and have provided valuable information. However, these mice strains have some residual immunity such as NK cells that somewhat limit post-transplantation growth and metastasis of human xenografts. In contrast, NOD/SCID/gammac(null) (NOG) mice without common gamma-chain inoculated with breast cancer cells were most efficient in the formation of a large tumor and metastasis. NOG mouse strain without NK activity appears to be more promising as tool for xenotransplantion of human cancer. This new xenotransplant model is relevant and can be recommended for use in clarifying the mechanism of growth of cancer cells as well as for developing new therapeutic strategies against cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous