A549 Xenograft Model

A549 Xenograft Altogen Labs

A549 xenograft model

The A549 cell line (human lung) is used to create the CDX (Cell Line Derived Xenograft) A549 xenograft mouse model.  The A549 CDX  model is one of the highly utilized xenograft lung cancer models for studying standard of care and novel therapeutics (i.e. erlotinib, gefitinib, lapatinib) due to overexpression of EGFR and HER-2.

Basic study design

  1. The cells used for injection are maintained in asceptic conditions and at exponential growth prior to injection.
  2. A549 cells are prepared by trypsinization and the percentage of viable cells are determined using trypan blue exclusion (98% cell viability required). Cell suspensions  are adjusted to the appropriate cell density.
  3. Each mouse (athymic BALB/C or NOD/SCID, 10-12 weeks old) receive a subcutaneous injection in the hind leg.  Each injection contains 100 microliters of one million cells with matrigel (A549 cell suspension).
  4. The injection sites are palpated three times weekly until tumors are established. Tumors are continually measured with digital calipers until they reach an average size of 50-150 mm3.
  5. Animals are then randomized into the necessary cohorts and administration of the test compound is performed following the experiment design schedule.
  6. Daily measurements of tumors are performed, while mouse weights are recorded 3 times weekly.
  7. At the end of the study, a necropsy is performed and tissues are collected as defined.
  8. All tumors are excised and weighed; tumors are documented by digital imaging.
  9. Gross necropsies are performed on the study animals and tissues are collected for downstream analysis.
  10. The tissues and tumors can be snap frozen in LN2, stabilized in RNAlater, and prepared for histology or gene expression analysis.

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A549 Xenograft Model

Xenograft animal models are used to assess the effectiveness of drugs against specific types of cancer. New medicines are tested on staged tumor growths that have been engrafted via subcutaneous or orthotopic inoculation in an immunocompromised mouse or rat model. All clinically approved anti-cancer agents have been evaluated with conventional preclinical in vivo models. Xenograft studies can be highly complex, starting with the selection of the appropriate animal model, choice of tumorigenic cell line, administration method, dosing, analysis of tumor growth rates and tumor analysis (histology, mRNA and protein expression levels).

Altogen Labs provides an array of laboratory services using over 30 standard Cell Line Derived Xenograft (CDX) models and over 20 PDX models. Researchers investigating the role of specific proteins or gene products in regulating tumor growth can benefit from development of protein overexpression (genetically engineered to ectopically express proteins, tumor suppressors, or oncogenes) and RNAi cell lines with long term gene silencing. Altogen Labs provides quantitative gene expression analysis of mRNA expression (RT-PCR) and protein expression analysis using the WES system (ProteinSimple).

The dosing of the experimental compound of interest is initiated, for a staged study, when the mean tumor size reaches a specified volume (typically 50-100 mm3). In an unstaged study, the dosing of the compound of interest is initiated immediately after xenografting. Mice are dosed once or twice a day for 28 days (or other desired study duration) via the chosen route of administration. Tumor volume (mm3) is calculated via the “(W x W x L) / 2” formula, where W is tumor width and L is tumor length.

Animal handling and maintenance at the Altogen Labs facility is IACUC-regulated and GLP-compliant. Following acclimation to the vivarium environment, mice are sorted according to body mass. The animals are examined daily for tumor appearance and clinical signs. We provide detailed experimental procedures, health reports and data (all-inclusive report is provided to the client that includes methods, results, discussion and raw data along with statistical analysis). Additional services available include collection of tissue, histology, isolation of total protein or RNA and analysis of gene expression. Our animal facilities have the flexibility to use specialized food or water systems for inducible gene expression systems.

Following options are available for the A549 xenograft model:

  • A549 Tumor Growth Delay (TGD; latency)
  • A549 Tumor Growth Inhibition (TGI)
  • Dosing frequency and duration of dose administration
  • Dosing route (intravenous, intratracheal, continuous infusion, intraperitoneal, intratumoral, oral gavage, topical, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intranasal, using cutting-edge micro-injection techniques and pump-controlled IV injection)
  • A549 tumor immunohistochemistry
  • Alternative cell engraftment sites (orthotopic transplantation, tail vein injection and left ventricular injection for metastasis studies, injection into the mammary fat pad, intraperitoneal injection)
  • Blood chemistry analysis
  • Toxicity and survival (optional: performing a broad health observation program)
  • Gross necropsies and histopathology
  • Positive control group employing cyclophosphamide, at a dosage of 50 mg/kg administered by intramuscular injection to the control group daily for the study duration
  • Lipid distribution and metabolic assays
  • Imaging studies: Fluorescence-based whole body imaging, MRI

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A549 Xenograft Model