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The establishment and characterization of the first canine hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, which resembles human oncogenic expression patterns

Author(s): Boomkens Sacha | Spee Bart | IJzer Jooske | Kisjes Ronald | Egberink Herman | van den Ingh Ted | Rothuizen Jan | Penning Louis

Journal: Comparative hepatology
ISSN 1476-5926

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Abstract Background Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most worldwide frequent primary carcinomas resulting in the death of many cirrhotic patients. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanisms of this cancer are not well understood; therefore, we need a good model system to study HCC. The dog is recognized as a promising model for human medical research, namely compared with rodents. The objective of this study was to establish and characterize a spontaneous canine tumor cell line as a potential model for studies on HCC. Results Histomorphological, biochemical, molecular biological and quantitative assays were performed to characterize the canine HCC cell line that originated from a dog with a spontaneous liver tumor. Morphological investigations provided strong evidence for the hepatocytic and neoplastic nature of the cell line, while biochemical assays showed that they produced liver-specific enzymes. PCR analysis confirmed expression of ceruloplasmin, alpha-fetoprotein and serum albumin. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that the canine HCC cell line resembles human HCC based on the measurements of expression profiles of genes involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Conclusions We have developed a novel, spontaneous tumor liver cell line of canine origin that has many characteristics of human HCC. Therefore, the canine HCC cell line might be an excellent model for comparative studies on the molecular pathogenesis of HCC.
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