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Blood. 1992 Dec 1;80(11):2843-50.

Long-term engraftment of fresh human myeloma cells in SCID mice.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Arizona Cancer Center, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724.


Using highly purified myeloma cells from patient bone marrow, we established human-murine myeloma chimeras in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice and documented secretion of monoclonal human immunoglobulins (Hulgs) in the mice for up to 299 days. Monoclonality of circulating Hulgs was found only when highly purified myeloma cells were injected intraperitoneally. In contrast, injection of unfractionated myeloma marrow led to the development of polyclonal Hulgs in the SCID mice. The criteria for myeloma engraftment included prolonged presence of monoclonal Hulgs in the sera of SCID mice and/or detection of human myeloma cells in their tissues by immunohistochemical examination. Ninety-one percent (10/11) of the fresh purified myeloma specimens engrafted in the SCID mice. Fifty-five percent (6/11) of the patient samples resulted in human B-cell grafts, and 45% (5/11) were identifiable as human myeloma chimeras. Pathologic studies showed that most human plasmacytes were located in the peritoneal cavity but metastatic infiltrates were also found in other organs in 69% of the SCID-human myeloma chimeras. This chimeric model should provide a useful tool for characterization of growth modulation and microenvironmental interactions as well as a means of testing new therapeutic approaches to multiple myeloma.

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