Establishment of a Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cell Model Using the SW1990 Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line in Nude Mice

  • Pan, Yan (Department of Integrative Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center) ;
  • Gao, Song (Department of Integrative Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center) ;
  • Hua, Yong-Qiang (Department of Integrative Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center) ;
  • Liu, Lu-Ming (Department of Integrative Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center)
  • Published : 2015.02.25


Aim: To establish a pancreatic cancer stem cell model using human pancreatic cancer cells in nude mice to provide a platform for pancreatic cancer stem cell research. Materials and Methods: To establish pancreatic cancer xenografts using human pancreatic cancer cell line SW1990, nude mice were randomly divided into control and gemcitabine groups. When the tumor grew to a volume of $125mm^3$, they treated with gemcitabine at a dose of 50mg/kg by intraperitoneal injection of 0.2ml in the gemcitabine group, while the mice in control group were treated with the same volume of normal saline. Gemcitabine was given 2 times a week for 3 times. When the model was established, the proliferation of pancreatic cancer stem cells was observed by clone formation assay, and the protein and/or mRNA expression of pancreatic stem cell surface markers including CD24, CD44, CD133, ALDH, transcription factors containing Oct-4, Sox-2, Nanog and Gli, the key nuclear transcription factor in Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway was detected by Western blot and/or RT-PCR to verify the reliability of this model. Results: This model is feasible and safe. During the establishment, no mice died and the weight of nude mice maintained above 16.5g. The clone forming ability in gemcitabine group was stronger than that of the control group (p<0.01). In gemcitabine group, the protein expression of pancreatic cancer stem cell surface markers including CD44, and ALDH was up-regulated, the protein and mRNA expression of nuclear transcription factor including Oct-4, Sox-2 and Nanog was also significantly increased (P<0.01). In addition, the protein expression of key nuclear transcription factor in Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway, Gli-1, was significantly enhanced (p<0.01). Conclusions: The pancreatic cancer stem cell model was successfully established using human pancreatic cancer cell line SW1990 in nude mice. Gemcitabine could enrich pancreatic cancer stem cells, simultaneously accompanied by the activation of Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway.


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