Rat brain tumor models in experimental neuro-oncology: the 9L, C6, T9, F98, RG2 (D74), RT-2 and CNS-1 gliomas

J Neurooncol. 1998 Jan;36(1):91-102. doi: 10.1023/a:1005805203044.


Rat brain tumor models have been widely used in experimental neuro-oncology for almost three decades. The present review, which will be selective rather than comprehensive, will focus entirely on seven rat brain tumor models and their utility in evaluating the efficacy of various therapeutic modalities. Although no currently available animal brain tumor model exactly simulates human high grade brain tumors, the rat models that are currently available have provided a wealth of information on in vitro and in vivo biochemical and biological properties of brain tumors and their in vivo responses to various therapeutic modalities. Ideally, valid brain tumor models should be derived from glial cells, grow in vitro and in vivo with predictable and reproducible growth patterns that simulate human gliomas, be weakly or non-immunogenic, and their response to therapy, or lack thereof, should resemble human brain tumors. The following tumors will be discussed. The 9L gliosarcoma, which was chemically induced in an inbred Fischer rat, has been one of the most widely used of all rat brain tumor models and has provided much useful information relating to brain tumor biology and therapy. The T9 glioma, although generally unrecognized, was and probably still is the same as the 9L. Both of these tumors can be immunogenic under the appropriate circumstances, and this must be taken into consideration when using either of them for studies of therapeutic efficacy, especially if survival is used as an endpoint. The C6 glioma, which was chemically induced in an outbred Wistar rat, has been extensively used for a variety of studies, but is not syngeneic to any inbred strain. Its potential to evoke an alloimmune response is a serious limitation, if it is being used in survival studies. The F98 and RG2 (D74) gliomas were both chemically induced tumors that appear to be either weakly or non-immunogenic. These tumors have been refractory to a variety of therapeutic modalities and their invasive pattern of growth and uniform lethality following an innoculum of as few as 10 tumor cells make them particularly attractive models to test new therapeutic modalities. The Avian Sarcoma Virus induced tumors and a continuous cell line derived from one of them, designated RT-2, have been useful for studies in which de novo tumor induction is an important requirement. These tumors, however, are immunogenic and this may limit their usefulness for survival studies. Finally, a new chemically induced tumor recently has been described, the CNS-1, and it appears to have a number of properties that should make it useful in experimental neuro-oncology. It is essential to recognize, however, the limitations of each of the models that have been described, and depending upon the nature of the study to be conducted, it is important that the appropriate model be selected.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avian Sarcoma Viruses
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Gliosarcoma / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Retroviridae Infections / pathology