NSG mice provide a better spontaneous model of breast cancer metastasis than athymic (nude) mice

Madhavi Puchalapalli, Xianke Zeng, Liang Mu, Aubree Anderson, Laura Hix Glickman, Ming Zhang, Megan R. Sayyad, Sierra Mosticone Wangensteen, Charles V. Clevenger, Jennifer E. Koblinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Metastasis is the most common cause of mortality in breast cancer patients worldwide. To identify improved mouse models for breast cancer growth and spontaneous metastasis, we examined growth and metastasis of both estrogen receptor positive (T47D) and negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM1315, and CN34BrM) human breast cancer cells in nude and NSG mice. Both primary tumor growth and spontaneous metastases were increased in NSG mice compared to nude mice. In addition, a pattern of metastasis similar to that observed in human breast cancer patients (metastases to the lungs, liver, bones, brain, and lymph nodes) was found in NSG mice. Furthermore, there was an increase in the metastatic burden in NSG compared to nude mice that were injected with MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in an intracardiac experimental metastasis model. This data demonstrates that NSG mice provide a better model for studying human breast cancer metastasis compared to the current nude mouse model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0163521
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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