Characterization of intraocular tumors arising in transgenic mice

R. Anand, D. Ma, H. Alizadeh, Sarah A Comerford, J. F. Sambrook, M. J H Gething -, I. W. McLean, Jerry Y Niederkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose. To characterize intraocular tumors that arise by in situ transformation in the choroid-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in transgenic mice bearing the SV40 oncogene under the control of the mouse tyrosinase promoter. Methods. Tumors from TySV40 transgenic mice were characterized in vivo and in vitro by immunohistology, compound microscopy, and electron microscopy. Tumor cell lines were established and characterized for growth and metastatic potential in the eyes of nude mice. Results. On light microscopy, ocular tumors were predominantly epithelioid, although occasional clusters of spindle cells were also present. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of numerous basal infoldings and abundant multilaminated basement membranes on the ocular tumors. Tumors stained with antibodies to melanoma-associated antigens, gangliosides GD2 and GD3, and the SV40 T antigen. Radiolabeled transgenic tumor cells preferentially localized in the liver after intravenous injection in normal mice. Intracamerally transplanted transgenic tumors metastasized from the eyes to the livers of nude mice. Conclusions. In TySV40 transgenic mice, intraocular tumors develop that arise at the choroid-RPE, interface, and they display morphologic and ultrastructural features consistent with RPE carcinomas. However, the transgenic tumors express melanoma-associated antigens and a propensity to metastasize to the liver, two features characteristic of uveal melanomas. The TySV40 transgenic murine tumors represent potentially useful tools for investigations into the biology and metastasis of intraocular neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3533-3539
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1994


  • RPE
  • choroid
  • metastasis
  • transgenic
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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