2018 Volume 31 Issue 4 Pages 293-300
In xenograft models, orthotopic (ORT) engraftment is thought to provide a different tumor microenvironment compared with subcutaneous (SC) engraftment. We attempted to characterize the biological difference between OE19 (adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction) SC and ORT models by pathological analysis and CASTIN (CAncer-STromal INteractome) analysis, which is a novel method developed to analyze the tumor-stroma interactome framework. In SC models, SCID mice were inoculated subcutaneously with OE19 cells, and tumor tissues were sampled at 3 weeks. In ORT models, SCID mice were inoculated under the serosal membrane of the stomach wall, and tumor tissues were sampled at 3 and 6 weeks after engraftment. Results from the two models were then compared. Histopathologically, the SC tumors were well circumscribed from the adjacent tissue, with scant stroma and the formation of large ductal structures. In contrast, the ORT tumors were less circumscribed, with small ductal structures invading into abundant stroma. Then we compared the transcriptome profiles of human tumor cells with the mouse stromal cells of each model by species-specific RNA sequencing. With CASTIN analysis, we successfully identified several interactions that are known to affect the tumor microenvironment as being selectively enhanced in the ORT model. In conclusion, pathological analysis and CASTIN analysis revealed that ORT models of OE19 cells have a more invasive character and enhanced interaction with stromal cells compared with SC models.