Establishment of a mouse xenograft model for mycosis fungoides

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Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most frequent variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs). MF primarily involves the skin initially with patches and plaques. In later stages, cutaneous tumors develop and tumor cells may spread to lymph nodes and finally to visceral sites. Here, we describe an animal model for MF in immune-deficient nude mice, using the CTCL cell line MyLa. Subcutaneous transplantation of MyLa cells leads to the formation of cutaneous tumors in 80% of the mice (50/60 total). Spread of tumor cells to visceral sites was detected by immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection of specific T-cell receptor-γ rearrangement. MyLa cells were found circulating in the blood, lymph nodes, and in blood vessels of heart, kidney, lung, and liver. In lung and liver tissue, tumor cells presented perivascular invasion, but no large secondary tumors developed. The nude mouse model described here will be a valuable test system for new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of MF and opens the unique opportunity to study the disease in vivo.

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