by Verena Ellerkamp, Sorin Armeanu-Ebinger, Julia Wenz, Steven W. Warmann, Juergen Schäfer, Peter Ruck, Joerg Fuchs
Investigation of hepatoblastoma in experimental conditions contributes relevantly to a detailed understanding of tumor biology and the investigation of new treatment approaches. Most systematical analyses currently use subcutaneous xenografts. We established a reproducible intrahepatic model with the hepatoblastoma-cell lines HuH6 and HepT1. The cells were stably transfected with a plasmid vector encoding for Gaussia luciferase. HuH6 and HepT1 were injected intrasplenically in NOD/LtSz-scid IL2R?null mice. Mice were splenectomized in order to avoid intrasplenical tumor growth. Multifocal intrahepatic tumor growth was observed in 85% (11/13) of HuH6 tumors and 55% (5/9) of HepT1 tumors. Serum Alpha-fetoprotein and Gaussia luciferase increased 5 weeks after tumor-cell inoculation. Tumors were detected by MRI at this time point. Immunhistochemical analysis such as vascularity (CD31), proliferation index (Ki-67), cytokeratin 7 and distribution of ß -catenin in intrahepatic tumors were different to subcutaneous tumors. We established a reproducible xenograft model for intrahepatic hepatoblastoma growth with a high tumor incidence. Monitoring of tumor cell viability was optimized by measuring GLuc. This model enables further experimental investigations of HB in a more physiological milieu as emphasized by the ß-catenin distribution.