Growth of benign and malignant schwannoma xenografts in severe combined immunodeficiency mice

Laryngoscope. 2006 Nov;116(11):2018-26. doi: 10.1097/01.mlg.0000240185.14224.7d.


Objectives: Models for the development of new treatment options in vestibular schwannoma (VS) treatment are lacking. The purpose of this study is to establish a quantifiable human VS xenograft model in mice.

Study design and methods: Both rat malignant schwannoma cells (KE-F11 and RT4) and human malignant schwannoma (HMS-97) cells were implanted near the sciatic nerve in the thigh of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Additionally, human benign VS specimens were implanted in another set of SCID mice. Three-dimensional tumor volumes were calculated from magnetic resonance images over the next 6 months.

Results: Mice implanted with malignant schwannoma cells developed visible tumors within 2 weeks. Imaging using a 4.7-tesla magnetic resonance imaging and immunohistopathologic examination identified solid tumors in all KE-F11 and HMS-97 xenografts, whereas RT4 xenografts consistently developed cystic schwannomas. VS xenografts demonstrated variability in their growth rates similar to human VS. The majority of VS xenografts did not grow but persisted throughout the study, whereas two of 15 xenografts grew significantly. Histopathologic examination and immunohistochemistry confirmed that VS xenografts retained their original microscopic and immunohistochemical characteristics after prolonged implantation.

Conclusions: This study describes the first animal model for cystic schwannomas. Also, we demonstrate the use of high-field magnetic resonance imaging to quantify VS xenograft growth over time. The VS xenografts represent a model complimentary to Nf2 transgenic and knockout mice for translational VS research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / pathology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous