Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(3):409-415. doi:10.7150/ijms.28998 This issue

Research Paper

Establishment of metastatic liver carcinoma model by implanting AX7 cells into rabbit liver, and its histological findings

Sun Hyun Kim1, Hyung Hwan Moon2, Myung Hee Yoon1✉

1. Division of Hepatobiliarypancreas and Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea
2. Department of Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine, Gospel Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea

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Kim SH, Moon HH, Yoon MH. Establishment of metastatic liver carcinoma model by implanting AX7 cells into rabbit liver, and its histological findings. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(3):409-415. doi:10.7150/ijms.28998. Available from

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Background: Progression of metastatic liver carcinoma from any original cancer is aggressive and the prognosis is very poor. Therefore the new model that is easily approachable to study the propagation and prognosis of metastatic liver carcinoma is necessary. The aim of this study is to confirm the tumor formation and metastatic activity of anaplastic thyroid cancer and to support the research basis for the next generation cancer treatment that is to be developed, by carrying out additional experiments like cytokine stimulation. We investigated sequential findings of immunohistochemistry of rabbit hepatic malignancy induced by AX7 cells.

Methods: 13 rabbits implanted with AX7 cells directly into liver parenchyme with laparotomy were investigated by histopathology examination, immunohistochemistry, which is useful for the evaluation of metastatic cancer angiogenesis. Growing tissue at the edge of the mass was collected and placed in the petri dish filled with saline. After removing necrotic and fibrous tissue, tumor tissue was cut into pieces, placed in saline, and extracted during the experiment.

Results: Tumor growth and malignancy was confirmed on the 10th day after AX7 cells were implanted into liver. Positive for VEGF staining was found in the cytoplasm or cell membrane. The scores for VEGF stained cells were moderately positive (++) on day 10, strongly positive (+++) on day 44. Ki-67-positive hepatocytes reached at 65% on day 10, at 65.78% on day 14, at 66.4% on day 30, at 67.88% on day 44.

Conclusion: AX7 cells implanted into liver can be used as a new rabbit metastatic liver carcinoma model and would become useful for human metastatic liver carcinoma studies. Future studies may facilitate the establishment of an effective systemic therapy for the metastatic liver cancer.

Keywords: AX7 cells, Angiogenesis, metastatic liver carcinoma, rabbit