An orthotopic model of human osteosarcoma growth and spontaneous pulmonary metastasis

Hue H. Luu, Quan Kang, Kyung Park Jong, Weike Si, Qing Luo, Wei Jiang, Hong Yin, Anthony G. Montag, Michael A. Simon, Terrance D. Peabody, Rex C. Haydon, Carrie W. Rinker-Schaeffer, Tong Chuan He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignancy of bone and patients often develop pulmonary metastases. In order to investigate the pathogenesis of human osteosarcoma, there is a great need to develop a clinically relevant animal model. Here we report the development of an osteosarcoma animal model using three related human osteosarcoma lines, the parental TE-85 and two derivative lines MNNG/HOS and 143B. In vitro characterization demonstrated that the 143B line had the greatest cell migration and the least cell adhesion activities among the three lines. The 143B line also exhibited the greatest ability for anchorage independent growth. When GFP-tagged osteosarcoma cells were injected into the proximal tibia of athymic mice, we found that 143B cells were highly tumorigenic and metastatic, and MNNG/HOS cells were tumorigenic but significantly less metastatic. TE85 cells were neither tumorigenic nor metastatic. The number of pulmonary metastases was found 50-fold higher in 143B injected animals than that in MNNG/HOS injected mice. No pulmonary metastases were detected in TE85 injected animals for up to 8 weeks. Primary tumors formed by MNNG/HOS and 143B cells could be visualized by whole body fluorescence imaging, while the pulmonary metastases were visualized on the necropsied samples. The GFP tagged 143B cells (and to a lesser extent, MNNG/HOS cells) were readily recovered from lung metastases. This clinically relevant model of human osteosarcoma provides varying degrees of tumor growth at the primary site and metastatic potential. Thus, this orthotopic model should be a valuable tool to investigate factors that promote or inhibit osteosarcoma growth and/or metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Bone tumor
  • Metastasis
  • Orthotopic animal model
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Primary bone tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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