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Tumour Biol. 2015 Jul;36(7):5089-94. doi: 10.1007/s13277-015-3160-5. Epub 2015 Feb 6.

Evidence of cell fusion in carcinogen-induced mice gastric carcinoma.

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Department of General Surgery, Tianjin General Surgery Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, No. 154 Anshan Road, Tianjin, 300052, China.


The role of bone marrow-derived cells in gastric cancer formation was not fully understood. In this study, bone marrow from female green fluorescent protein transgenic mice was transplanted into male wild-type mice to generate sex-mismatched chimeric mice. The chimeric mice were treated with carcinogen to induce gastric cancer. At time of sacrifice, 18.2 % (2/11) of mice showed severe dysplasia and 25 % (3/12) of mice successfully induced with cancer. Fluorescence in situ hybridization results showed that bone marrow-derived cells participated in renewal of gastric mucosa and cell fusion was observed in both precancerous lesions and adenocarcinoma, but no sign of fusion was observed in squamous cell carcinoma. Our findings suggest that bone marrow-derived cells participate in renewal of gastric mucosa during chronic damage and might have acquired the phenotype of gastric epithelial cells through cell fusion. Fusion between gastric epithelial cells and bone marrow-derived cells was involved in increased carcinogenesis.

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