Mammary tumor heterogeneity in wt-ErbB-2 transgenic mice

Stanley Kosanke, Susan M. Edgerton, Dan Moore, Xiao He Yang, Terza Mason, Kathy Alvarez, Lynn Jones, Aeree Kim, Ann D. Thor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Phenotypic and biological heterogeneity was studied in a single transgenic mouse model to determine the level of biological variance. We analyzed 1,258 tumors from 417 MMTV-wt-ErbB-2 transgenic mice, subdivided by casein or soy-based dietary randomization and hormonal treatment. Variance in tumor histologic features, growth pattern, invasion, metastases, and multi-focality were detected in untreated and treated mice. Ninety-three percent (1,174/1,258) of tumors had the solid growth pattern widely reported in this model. However, among the solid tumors, a spectrum of growth patterns, from well-circumscribed tumors with a pseudocapsule to locally invasive or highly aggressive, metastatic subtype, was observed. Of the non-solid tumors, glandular features were prominent in 84 (7%). Adenocarcinomas included papillary, acinar/glandular, and adenosquamous subtypes. Adenosquamous tumors were exclusively observed in the group of mice treated on a short-term basis with estrogen. In contrast to the reported literature for this transgenic mouse model, mammary tumors were multifocal in the majority of cases (303 of 417 mice, or 73%). Results of this extensive study of a single transgenic model of mammary tumorigenesis indicate phenotypic and biological heterogeneity not previously associated with this transgenic mouse. These data support a complex, multistep process of carcinogenesis and clonal evolution, with biological and phenotypic variance similar to that observed in human mammary cancer development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mammary tumor heterogeneity in wt-ErbB-2 transgenic mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this