Establishment of a human meibomian gland carcinoma cell model and analysis of differently expressed genes

Exp Eye Res. 2022 Jun:219:108983. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2022.108983. Epub 2022 Feb 25.


Meibomian gland carcinoma (MGC) is a malignant eyelid tumor with a high malignancy degree and poor prognosis. However, the lack of suitable cell and animal models has limited the study of MGC pathogenesis. In the present study, we established and identified one human MGC cell and one meibomian gland (MG) cell model by fresh surgical resection tissue block primary culture and differentially expressed gene assays. The outgrowth of MGC and MG cells was periodically observed after primary culture, and the first passage of MGC cells proceeded on the 14th day, whereas that for MG cells after three weeks. Cell ultrastructures were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Immunofluorescence staining showed that MGC and MG cells were both positive for cytokeratin (CK) and androgen receptor (AR). Orange granules were observed in the cytoplasm of MGC and MG cells using Oil red O staining, but they were stronger for MG cells than for MGC. CCK-8 detection demonstrated that the proliferation ability of MGC cells was stronger than that of MG cells. Moreover, during RNA sequence analyses, 3023 differential expressed genes were detected between MGC and MG cells. These genes were involved in biological processes such as cell division and positive regulation of cell migration; the signaling pathways mainly covered cell cycle and DNA replication. Further, the tumorigenic potential of MGC cells was examined by inoculating them subcutaneously into the right abdomen of three severely immunodeficient NOD -SCID mice. Transplanted tumors formed on day 11 after inoculation. The xenograft mouse tissues retained the same histological characteristics as the human MGC original tumor and MGC primary cells. Altogether, these results showed that the MGC and MG models were successfully cultured and established, and differentially expressed genes were successfully detected. We provided a useful model and molecular basis for studying the biological characteristics and pathogenesis of human MGC.

Keywords: Differential genes; Meibomian gland carcinoma; Primary cell culture; Transplantable model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma* / metabolism
  • Carcinoma* / pathology
  • Eyelid Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Meibomian Glands / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID