Long-term engraftment and expansion of tumor-derived memory T cells following the implantation of non-disrupted pieces of human lung tumor into NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) mice.

Document Type


Publication Date



Animals, Antigens-CD45, Carcinoma-Non-Small-Cell-Lung, Disease-Models-Animal, Enzyme-Linked-Immunosorbent-Assay, Flow-Cytometry, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Immunologic-Memory, Immunophenotyping, Interferon-Type-II, Lung-Neoplasms, Lymphocytes-Tumor-Infiltrating, Mice-Inbred-NOD, Mice-SCID, Neoplasm-Transplantation, Receptors-Interleukin-2, T-Lymphocyte-Subsets, T-Lymphocytes, Transplantation-Heterologous

First Page


Last Page


JAX Source

J Immunol 2008 May; 180(10):7009-18.


Non-disrupted pieces of primary human lung tumor implanted into NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) mice consistently result in successful xenografts in which tissue architecture, including tumor-associated leukocytes, stromal fibroblasts, and tumor cells are preserved for prolonged periods with limited host-vs-graft interference. Human CD45(+) tumor-associated leukocytes within the xenograft are predominantly CD3(+) T cells with fewer CD138(+) plasma cells. The effector memory T cells that had been shown to be quiescent in human lung tumor microenvironments can be activated in situ as determined by the production of human IFN-gamma in response to exogenous IL-12. Plasma cells remain functional as evidenced by production of human Ig. Significant levels of human IFN-gamma and Ig were detected in sera from xenograft-bearing mice for up to 9 wk postengraftment. Tumor-associated T cells were found to migrate from the microenvironment of the xenograft to the lung, liver, and primarily the spleen. At 8 wk postengraftment, a significant portion of cells isolated from the mouse spleens were found to be human CD45(+) cells. The majority of CD45(+) cells were CD3(+) and expressed a phenotype consistent with an effector memory T cell, consisting of CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells that were CD45RO(+), CD44(+), CD62L(-), and CD25(-). Following adoptive transfer into non-tumor bearing NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) mice, these human T cells were found to expand in the spleen, produce IFN-gamma, and maintain an effector memory phenotype. We conclude that the NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) tumor xenograft model provides an opportunity to study tumor and tumor-stromal cell interactions in situ for prolonged periods.