Background: Ovarian cancer is generally diagnosed at an advanced stage where the case/fatality ratio is high and thus remains the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies among US women. Serous tumors are the most widespread forms of ovarian cancer and the Tg-MISIIR-TAg transgenic represents the only mouse model that spontaneously develops this type of tumors. Tg-MISIIR-TAg mice express SV40 transforming region under control of the Mullerian Inhibitory Substance type II Receptor (MISIIR) gene promoter. Additional transgenic lines have been identified that express the SV40 TAg transgene, but do not develop ovarian tumors. Non-tumor prone mice exhibit typical lifespan for C57Bl/6 mice and are fertile. These mice can be used as syngeneic allograft recipients for tumor cells isolated from Tg-MISIIR-TAg-DR26 mice.
Objective: Although tumor imaging is possible, early detection of deep tumors is challenging in small living animals. To enable preclinical studies in an immunologically intact animal model for serous ovarian cancer, we describe a syngeneic mouse model for this type of ovarian cancer that permits in vivo imaging, studies of the tumor microenvironment and tumor immune responses.
Methods: We first derived a TAg+ mouse cancer cell line (MOV1) from a spontaneous ovarian tumor harvested in a 26 week-old DR26 Tg-MISIIR-TAg female. Then, we stably transduced MOV1 cells with TurboFP635 Lentivirus mammalian vector that encodes Katushka, a far-red mutant of the red fluorescent protein from sea anemone Entacmaea quadricolor with excitation/emission maxima at 588/635 nm. We orthotopically implanted MOV1(Kat) in the ovary of non-tumor prone Tg-MISIIR-TAg female mice. Tumor progression was followed by in vivo optical imaging and tumor microenvironment was analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
Results: Orthotopically implanted MOV1(Kat) cells developed serous ovarian tumors. MOV1(Kat) tumors could be visualized by in vivo imaging up to three weeks after implantation (fig. 1) and were infiltrated with leukocytes, as observed in human ovarian cancers (fig. 2).
Conclusions: We describe an orthotopic model of ovarian cancer suitable for in vivo imaging of early tumors due to the high pH-stability and photostability of Katushka in deep tissues. We propose the use of this novel syngeneic model of serous ovarian cancer for in vivo imaging studies and monitoring of tumor immune responses and immunotherapies.