In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology: Animal 2015 April 15 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Blum W, Pecze L, Felley-Bosco E, Worthmüller-Rodriguez J, Wu L, Vrugt B, de Perrot M, Schwaller B.


Mesothelial cells are susceptible to asbestos fiber-induced cytotoxicity and on longer time scales to transformation; the resulting mesothelioma is a highly aggressive neoplasm that is considered as incurable at the present time Zucali et al. (Cancer Treatment Reviews 37:543-558, 2011). Only few murine cell culture models of immortalized mesothelial cells and mesothelioma cell lines exist to date. We generated SV40-immortalized cell lines derived from wild-type (WT) and neurofibromatosis 2 (merlin) heterozygote (Nf2+/-) mice, both on a commonly used genetic background, C57Bl/6J. All immortalized mesothelial clones consistently grow in DMEM supplemented with fetal bovine serum. Cells can be passaged for more than 40 times without any signs of morphological changes or a decrease in proliferation rate. The tumor suppressor gene NF2 is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human mesothelioma, but its detailed function is still unknown. Thus, these genotypically distinct cell lines likely relevant for malignant mesothelioma formation are expected to serve as useful in vitro models, in particular to compare with in vivo studies in mice of the same genotype. Furthermore, we generated a novel murine mesothelioma cell line RN5 originating from an Nf2+/- mouse subjected to repeated crocidolite exposure. RN5 cells are highly tumorigenic.