A metastatic neuroblastoma model in SCID mice

Int J Cancer. 1996 Jul 29;67(3):379-85. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19960729)67:3<379::AID-IJC12>3.0.CO;2-3.


Neuroblastoma (NB), a neural crest derived tumor in children, shows a characteristic pattern of dissemination that includes adrenal glands, local lymph nodes, bone, liver, skin, and bone marrow. We have reconstructed a similar metastatic pattern in SCID mice following tail vein injection of human NB cells. HTLA230, an NB cell line isolated from a patient with advanced disease, and its NGF receptor (trkA) expressing derivative (18-10) cells, consistently disseminated to the liver, the adrenal gland, and the bone marrow, but not the lungs. Metastases in the different organs showed a characteristic hemorrhagic histopathology, and tumors in the bone marrow presented as syncytia-like cell aggregates, typically seen in patients. Cell lines reestablished from 18-10 derived liver and bone marrow metastases maintained their cellular morphology, growth behavior, N-myc overexpression, trkA expression, and functionally responded to NGF treatment, leading to growth arrest and neurite outgrowth. Hence circulating human NB cells in SCID mice show a similar organ-specific metastatic potential as seen in patients, independent of trkA expression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / secondary
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / secondary
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology*
  • Neuroblastoma / secondary*
  • Neuroblastoma / ultrastructure
  • Organ Specificity
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / secondary
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / genetics
  • Transfection


  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor