Biochemical analysis of macromolecular constituents of somatic cells in culture frequently requires the production of large quantities of cells from small initial populations, often a laborious and expensive procedure. Here we show that nude mice, because of their genetic immune deficiency, provide a relatively simple and reliable means of growing large quantities of cells irrespective of the species or tissue of origin. Most established animal cell lines are capable of growing as large tumors in these athymic mice. The passage of mammalian cells in nude mice does not cause either the loss or modification of specific biochemical, chromosomal, antigenic or other cellular markers, nor the induction of malignant transformation of the host cells. Tumors formed by the injected cells grow as localized, encapsulated masses, and host cell admixture due to elements of the vascular system in the tumor is variable but not extensive. Pure cultures of the original cell type can easily be recovered from the tumors if they are derived from previously established cell lines. The use of nude mice for large scale growth of animal cells is particularly advantageous for cell lines which are not adapted to mass suspension culture for highly differentiated functional tumor cells which cannot be grown in vitro.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology