The purpose of the study is to develop a mouse ocular melanoma model with human uveal melanoma cells that forms hepatic micrometastases. Human uveal melanoma Mel290 cells were transfected with a lentiviral-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression vector. Proliferation assays were performed by comparing Mel290-EGFP and Mel290 cells. After stable expression of EGFP and proliferation was ascertained, 1×10 Mel290-EGFP cells were introduced into NU/NU mice by posterior compartment (PC) inoculation or tail vein injection. Control groups were inoculated or injected with Mel290 cells. Ocular and hepatic frozen sections were examined by fluorescence microscopy, and the number of hepatic micrometastases was determined. EGFP expression was observed at 24 h after transfection. At 72 h after transfection, more than 70% of Mel290 cells expressed EGFP. At 45 days (six passages), 90% of Mel290 cells stably expressed EGFP. Histologic examination showed that Mel290-EGFP cells formed hepatic micrometastases after either PC inoculation or tail vein injection. A significant difference in the number of hepatic micrometastases between PC inoculation and tail vein injection (P<0.01) was observed. Mel290-EGFP cells stably expressed green fluorescent protein in vitro at 45 days (six passages). These cells formed hepatic micrometastases in NU/NU mice after PC inoculation or tail vein injection, with significantly more micrometastases developing in the PC inoculation model than after tail vein injection. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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