The immune response to sporadic colorectal cancer in a novel mouse model.
Czéh M., Loddenkemper C., Shalapour S., Schön C., Robine S., Goldscheid E., Stein H., Schüler T., Willimsky G., Blankenstein T.
Current mouse models do not reflect the sporadic nature of colon cancer and do not allow the analysis of antitumor immune response because of the lack of known tumor-specific antigens. Two transgenic mouse models with spontaneous tumor development were generated, directing the expression of SV40T antigen (Tag) either constitutively (Vil-Cre × LoxP-Tag-transgenic mice) or stochastically (Vil-Cre-ER(T2) × LoxP-Tag-transgenic mice) into the putative stem cell region of the crypt of Lieberkühn. Tumor development and antitumor immune response were monitored. Vil-Cre × LoxP-Tag mice developed multiple adenocarcinomas of the small intestine and colon at an average age of 6 months. During the tumor development, Tag-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were induced in half of the mice, although they had developed neonatal cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) tolerance. This model shows similarity to hereditary colon cancer but not to the sporadic tumor development. Therefore, the conditional Vil-Cre-ER(T2) × LoxP-Tag mice were established, in which expression of the dormant Tag was induced by stochastic, tissue-specific activation of Cre recombinase. These mice spontaneously developed highly invasive, metastasizing colon carcinomas at an average age of 20 months. Colon carcinomas expressed epithelial and/or neuroendocrine markers depending on the grade of differentiation. Young Vil-Cre-ER(T2) × LoxP-Tag mice had retained CTL responses against epitope IV of Tag. The tumors induced strong anti-Tag IgG responses. We report, for the first time, a mouse model based on stochastic, tissue-specific activation of a dormant oncogene in the colon allowing the analysis of antitumor immune response against primary colorectal cancer.