The purpose of this study was to determine whether the methods for isolating tumor cells from a human renal cell carcinoma (HRCC) influence the biological behavior of the cancer cells. Renal cell carcinoma obtained from a surgical specimen was dissociated by enzymatic treatment and cells were plated into culture dishes or injected s.c. into the kidney of BALB/c nude mice. The resultant kidney tumor produced liver metastasis and ascites. All tumors growing in nude mice (s.c., kidney, liver, ascites) were also established in culture. The human origin of all five lines was ascertained by karyotypic and isoenzyme analyses. Cells from all lines were injected, s.c., i.p., i.v., intrasplenically, and beneath the renal capsule of nude mice. All the lines were tumorigenic after s.c. or renal subcapsule injection, although the rate of tumor growth varied among the five lines. The metastatic behavior of the HRCC cells was influenced by both the nature of the tumor cells and the route of injection into nude mice. In general, cells derived from the liver metastasis produced more metastases in nude mice than other lines. The lines established in culture from the primary HRCC and the ascites were poorly metastatic. Even with highly metastatic cells, i.v. injection did not yield significant metastasis, but the injection of cells into the renal subcapsule resulted in extensive metastasis to the lungs and in all peritoneal organs.

These results indicate that nude mice can be used for the isolation of populations of HRCC cells with different growth and metastatic potential and that, of the organ sites tested, the renal subcapsule is the most advantageous site for implantation of HRCC cells.


Research supported in part by a gift from the Rudman Foundation.

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