Comparison of Two Different Methods for Inoculating VX2 Tumors in Rabbit Livers and Hind Limbs

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To compare two methods to (a) propagate VX2 cell strain in rabbit hind limbs and (b) inoculate liver parenchymal tumors in rabbits.


One hundred forty-two New Zealand white rabbits were used for this study (60 with hind limb tumor [donors] and 82 with liver tumors [recipients]). In the donor group, nine rabbits received frozen VX2 cell suspension and 51 were injected with freshly prepared VX2 cell suspension. In the recipient group, 32 rabbits were injected with VX2 tumor cells and 50 were implanted with a small tumor fragment in the liver parenchyma. Success rates in terms of tumor growth were compared by using Χ2 or Fisher exact tests, with alpha = .05.


Hind limb and liver tumors were successfully grown in 48 of the 60 rabbits in the donor group (80%) and 57 of the 82 rabbits in the recipient group (70%). The success rate of growing hind limb tumors increased from 33% (three of nine rabbits) to 88% (45 of 51 rabbits) when fresh VX2 cells instead of frozen were injected percutaneously (P< .0011). Similarly, the success rate for VX2 liver tumors almost doubled from 47% (15 of 32 rabbits) to 84% (42 of 50 rabbits) when a tumor fragment instead of VX2 cell suspension was used (P< .00036). This also significantly reduced the frequency of metastasis (P< .005).


The authors recommend (a) the use of fresh VX2 cell suspension for percutaneous injection in the hind limbs of rabbits to maintain the VX2 cell strain and (b) the surgical implantation of freshly harvested VX2 tumor fragment into the liver parenchyma to establish liver tumors.

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