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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2013 Jun;49(6):395-9. doi: 10.1007/s11626-013-9623-3. Epub 2013 May 10.

B16/F10 tumors in aged 3D collagen in vitro simulate tumor growth and gene expression in aged mice in vivo.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Although the incidence of cancer rises with age, tumor growth is often slowed in older hosts. The B16/F10 melanoma cell line is commonly used in murine models of age-related tumor growth suppression. We wished to determine if the growth pattern and gene expression of B16/10 tumors grown in aged mice could be simulated in 3D collagen matrices derived from aged mice. Outcome measures were tumor size in vitro and gene expression of the key growth regulatory molecules: growth hormone receptor (GHR), IL-10Rβ, IL-4Rα, and IL-6. B16/F10 tumors were grown in 20-25-mo-old C57/BL6 male mice. Tumor sizes ranged from 30 to 4,910 mg in vivo. Tumors from a subset of mice were removed after euthanasia, and equivalent amounts of each tumor were placed in aged 3D collagen and grown for 5 d. Tumor sizes in aged 3D collagen correlated highly with their original tumor size in vivo. Gene expression changes noted in vivo were also maintained during tumor growth in aged 3D collagen in vitro. The relative expression of GHR was increased, IL-10Rβ was unchanged, and IL-4Rα and IL-6 were decreased in the larger tumors relative to the smaller tumors in vitro, in a pattern similar to that noted in vivo. We propose that 3D matrices from aged mice provide an in vitro model of tumor growth that correlates highly with tumor size and expression of key regulatory molecules in vivo.

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