Background: The development of certain biologic characteristics in human colorectal tumor xenografted onto nude mice are described with respect to their precocious passages, i.e., passaging below 10 onto athymic mice.
Experimental design: The biologic characteristic monitoring involved the determination of modifications occurring in cytoplasmic lectin binding and spontaneous development in nuclear size and DNA content. The lectin immunohistochemistry included the characterization of staining modifications in the glandular parts of the colorectal xenografts of wheat germ, Dolichos biflorus, peanut, Solanum tuberosum and Ulex europaeus I agglutinins. The nuclear modifications were monitored by means of the digital cell image analyses of Feulge-stained nuclei.
Results: The results show that although the xenografted human colorectal lines may be relatively stable according to their macroscopic growth over serial passaging, certain of their microscopic characteristics develop markedly. Three lectins, i.e., wheat germ agglutinin, Solanum tuberosum, and Ulex europaeus I, showed a glandular binding which remained relatively stable over serial passaging, whereas the peanut binding exhibited some variations and the DBA binding progressively disappeared. These cytoplasmic modifications occurring over time were less pronounced than those that occurred with respect to nuclear measurements, i.e., size and DNA content.
Conclusions: Nuclear DNA content heterogeneity as revealed by DNA histogram typing rather than by DNA index assessments increased markedly in the colorectal xenografts over their serial passaging on nude mice.