Xenograft Animal Service: Immunocompromised NOD/SCID Mice

Xenograft Animal Service: Immunocompromised NOD/SCID Mice

Xenografting is an established technique wherein tumor tissue from one species is transplanted into individuals of a different species. Xenografts of human tumor tissue into immunocompromised mice can provide a more accurate model of tumor growth and activity of administered drugs than in vitro studies. Altogen Labs offers in vivo xenograft services to conduct drug development for oncology, inflammation, diabetes, infectious diseases, obesity, immunology and pain research. Xenograft is a powerful research tool in oncology, playing a significant role in the development of new anti-cancer medicines.

Xenograft in vivo services are performed to measure the activity of compounds based on the rate of engrafted tumor growth. The xenotransplantation process involves administration of tumorigenic cell lines via subcutaneous injection. Alternative xenotransplantation approaches that can be performed by Altogen Labs include orthotopic, intramuscular, intravenous, intratracheal, or intraperitoneal administration.

Altogen Labs offers assistance in choosing the best model suitable for clients experimental goals. Animal handling and maintenance at our facilities are IACUC-regulated and GLP-compliant. We provide detailed experiment procedures, health reports and experimental data. Additional experimental services include tissue collection, histology, RNA isolation and gene expression analysis.

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• 8- to 12-week-old female BALB/c athymic (nude) mice (Nu/Nu)
• 9-14 week old NOD/SCID immunocompromised mice (SCID)

Xenografting is accomplished by subcutaneous injection of tumor cell line cells (typically 1,000,000 cells per animal, single flank injection in 50% Matrigel solution). Tumors are established in a group of mice (usually 5-10 animals per experimental group) and tumor growth is detectable within 4-7 days post-implantation.

Clients select a cell line of interest (must be tumorigenic cell line) and assign the number of experimental groups and the size of each group. The dosing of compounds is initiated when the mean tumor size reaches 50-100 mm3. Clients are expected to provide dose/group assignment instructions for each group.

Administration options include the dosing route (intratumoral, intramuscular, oral, intravenous, intratracheal, subcutaneous, or intraperitoneal), dosing frequency (for example, once or twice a day), and dosing duration. If the client elects to include the cyclophosphamide positive control group, cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg) will be administered by intramuscular injection daily for the duration of the study.

We perform daily analysis with cage-side observations, and measure body weight and tumor volume every 2 days. Tumor volume (mm3) is calculated using the “(W x W x L) / 2” formula, where W is tumor width and L is tumor length.

Altogen Labs offers multiple xenograft tumor models, including A549, DU-145, PC-3, U87MG, MDA-MB, PANC1, Caki-1, Caki-2, SKMEL, A431, LnCAP, FaDu, HeLa, SKOV-3, SW-480, and many other cell lines (see Table 1 below for most commonly used cell lines). Following acclimatization, mice are grouped according to body weight. Human cancer cell lines are prepared in matrigel and grafted subcutaneously into the flank area. Mice are checked daily for clinical signs and tumor appearance.

When tumors begin to appear, animals are grouped based on tumor volume. Mice are dosed once or twice a day for 28 days via the chosen route of administration (choice of oral, intratumoral, intraperitoneal, intratracheal, intramuscular, or subcutaneous). Other available services include collection of blood sera at termination, and preservation of tumors and other major tissues. Optional positive control group utilizing cyclophosphamide, cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg) can be administered by intramuscular injection daily for the duration of the study.

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Xenograft Animal Service:
Immunocompromised NOD/SCID Mice

Table 1. Altogen Labs validated Xenograft animal models.

Select specific cell line below to see xenograft model data:

Tumor Type: Altogen Labs in-house validated cancer xenograft models:
Brain U87 MG,  LN229,  U87-Luc,  SK-N-AS,  SF268,  SF295,  SF539, SNB19,  UG-251MG
Breast Cancer 4T1,  BT474,  MCF-7,  MDA-MB-231,  MDA-MB-468,  HS578T, MDA-MB-453,  MDA-MB-157,  KPL-4,  T47D
Colon COLO205,  CT-26,  MC38,  SW-620,  LS-174T,  WiDr,  SW480, HT-29,  L0Vo,  HCT116,  DLD-1,  KM-12 
Gastric NCI-N87, HS746T,  AGS,  MKN-45,  SNU-16
Hepatocellular / Liver Hep3B,  HepG2,  SK-HEP1,  SMMC-7721,  H22,  Hepa1-6
Leukemia/Lymphoma HL-60,  K-562,  MOLM13,  DOHH2,  Karpas-299, Ramos,  A20,  Raji,  EL-4 
Lung A549,  H460,  H226,  NCI-H1975,  SAS,  Calu-3,  Calu-6,  H1155
Melanoma A2058,  A375,  B16
Other A431,  FaDu,  HeLa
Ovarian OV-CAR3,  SKOV-3
Pancreas AsPC-1,  MIAPaCa-2,  BxPc-3
Prostate DU-145,  LNCaP,  PC-3
Renal / Kidney 786O,  Renca
Sarcoma SJSA-1,  S180

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Other strains available at Altogen Labs:

Mouse type T cells B cells NK cells Coat Other Notes
CD1 No Yes Yes White/albino Outbred
B6 Yes Yes Yes White/albino Inbred
Balb/c No Yes Yes Nude, albino Inbred
Balb/SCID No No Yes White Inbred
NOD/SCID No No Impaired White Inbred
Nu/nu No Yes Yes Nude Outbred
CD57BL Yes Yes Yes Dark brown/black Inbred
CB17 Yes Yes Yes White Inbred
NSG No No No White Inbred
Swiss Nude No Yes Yes Nude Outbred

About the models


This model originates from a non-inbred Swiss stock of the 1920s from the Centre Anticancerux Romand (Lausanne, Switzerland). Outbred stocks are generally used for their genetic variability.


This strain of mouse arose from a spontaneous mutation in the C57BL/6 strain resulting in a coisogenic albino mutant. These mice have a mutant tyrosinase gene.


This strain of nude mouse was developed in the 1980s through many crosses and backcrosses and remains to be an inbred model. Balb/c mice do not have a thymus and therefore cannot produce T-cells and are considered immunodeficient. Balb/c mice are often used for their easy breeding and similar weights (low-variation) of males and females. They are also used for monoclonal antibody production.


This mouse model lacks functioning T and B cells but do have functioning NK cells which limits engraftment. These mice are sensitive to irradiation and have functioning macrophages, dendritic cells and complement activity. Some cancer cell lines show improved engraftment over nude models in Balb/SCID mice.


The homozygous SCID mutation results in impaired T cell and B cell lymphocyte development. The NOD characteristic results in impaired natural killer cell function. NOD/SCID mice also lack macrophage and dendritic cell activity as well as reduced complement activity. These mice have a non-obese diabetic and insulitis background and low cytokine production. NOD/SCID mice exhibit a 36-week median survival due to the development of thymic lymphomas, which limits their use to short-term experiments.


These mice originate from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Originally thought to be BALB/C congenic mice, once it was discovered that these mice were outbred they were determined to be of their own strain. These mice do not have a thymus, or T-cells, and are nude immunodeficient models.


This laboratory mouse strain was the 2nd mammalian species to ever have its genome published in entirety. They originate from the Bussey Institute for Research in Applied Biology in 1921. These mice are often selected for easy breeding and availability of congenic strains. These mice are particularly sensitive to odors, noise, pain, cold, alcohol and morphine addiction.


CB17 mice are of a congenic strain that carry the immunoglobulin heavy chain allele (Igh-1b) from a C57BL/Ka on a BALB/c background. They are an ideal control for the CB17/SCID immunodeficient mouse model


Also known as NOD scid gamma, these mice are deficient in NK, T and B cells as well as multiple cytokine pathways. They also have reduced dendritic cell function and defective macrophage activity and lack a complement system. They are one of the most immunodeficient models available and unlike NOD/SCID mice, NSG mice do not develop thymic lymphomas and can be used for long-term experiments.

Swiss Nude

These mice originate from the 1974 Gustave Roussy Institute (Villejuif, France) Swiss stock. They are T cell deficient, nude and albino.

Contact us with the details of your project at info@altogenlabs.com or call Altogen Labs at 512-433-6177. We will be happy to send an immediate price quotation and project timeline estimate. Please note that experimental details will help us to provide an accurate quote.

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Xenograft Animal Service:
Immunocompromised NOD/SCID Mice

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