Isolation and characterization of PC-3 human prostatic tumor sublines which preferentially metastasize to select organs in S.C.I.D. mice

Differentiation. 1991 Nov;48(2):115-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-0436.1991.tb00250.x.


We have developed and partially characterized a mouse model system for studying human prostate tumor cell metastases in vivo. To develop this model we have selected highly invasive (3 x I.) and non-invasive (3 x N.I.) PC-3 human prostatic tumor sublines based on enhanced and diminished capacities to migrate across a reconstituted basement membrane barrier (Matrigel) in Boyden chamber chemotactic assays. When the 3 x I. cells were injected intravenously (i.v.) in the tail vein of severe combined immune deficient (scid) mice, the cells initially metastasized to a wide variety of tissues as demonstrated by using [125I] IUdR labeled cells and histology. Four distinct sublines were eventually isolated which preferentially metastasized at approximately 80% efficiency to the lumbar vertebrae (PC-3 ML), the mandibular region of the right cheek (PC-3 MC), the rib cartilage (PC-3 MR), and the right front knee bone (PC-3 MK), respectively. Implantation experiments at different sites indicated that organ metastases may somehow be conferred on the tumor subclones by the host tissue.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • Culture Media