VETERINARY AND COMPARATIVE ONCOLOGY, vol.6, no.1, pp.39-54, 2008 (SCI-Expanded)
Lymphoma is a malignant neoplasm arising from B or T lymphocytes. In dogs, one-third of lymphomas are highly aggressive multicentric T-cell lymphomas that are often associated with humoral hypercalcaemia of malignancy (HHM). There are no cell lines or animal models to investigate the pathogenesis of T-cell lymphoma and HHM in dogs. We developed the first xenograft model by injecting lymphoma cells from an Irish Wolfhound intraperitoneally into NOD/SCID mice. The mice developed multicentric lymphoma along with HHM and increased parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) as occurs in dogs with T-cell lymphoma. Using cytokine complementary DNA arrays, we identified genes that have potential implications in the pathogenesis of T-cell lymphoma. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of T-cell lymphoma samples from hypercalcaemic canine patients showed that PTHrP likely plays a central role in the pathogenesis of HHM and that hypercalcaemia is the result of a combinatorial effect of different hypercalcaemic factors. Finally, we monitored in vivo tumour progression and metastases in the mouse model by transducing the lymphoma cells with a lentiviral vector that encodes a luciferase-yellow fluorescent protein reporter and showed that in vivo trafficking patterns in this model were similar to those seen in dogs. This unique mouse model will be useful for translational research in lymphoma and for investigating the pathogenesis of T-cell lymphoma and HHM in the dog.