Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia, a disease commonly associated with hypercalcemia and osteolysis. There is no effective treatment for HTLV-1, and the osteolytic mechanisms are not fully understood. Mice expressing the HTLV-1 oncogene Tax, driven by the human granzyme B promoter (Tax+), develop osteolytic tumors. To investigate the progression of the bone-invasive malignancies, wild-type, Tax+, and Tax+/interferon-γ-/- mice were assessed using necropsy, histologic examination, IHC analysis, flow cytometry, and advanced imaging. Tax+ and Tax+/interferon-γ-/- malignancies of the ear, tail, and foot comprised poorly differentiated, round to spindle-shaped cells with prominent neutrophilic infiltrates. Tail tumors originated from muscle, nerve, and/or tendon sheaths, with frequent invasion into adjacent bone. F4/80+ and anti-mouse CD11b (Mac-1)+ histiocytic cells predominated within the tumors. Three Tax+/interferon-γ-/- cell lines were generated for in vivo allografts, in vitro gene expression and bone resorption assays. Two cell lines were of monocyte/macrophage origin, and tumors formed in vivo in all three. Differences in Pthrp, Il6, Il1a, Il1b, and Csf3 expression in vitro were correlated with differences in in vivo plasma calcium levels, tumor growth, metastasis, and neutrophilic inflammation. Tax+ mouse tumors were classified as bone-invasive histiocytic sarcomas. The cell lines are ideal for further examination of the role of HTLV-1 Tax in osteolytic tumor formation and the development of hypercalcemia and tumor-associated inflammation.
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