Leukemic death

by Alexey Bersenev on May 31, 2008 · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

This picture shows one of the reasons why I was stuck in the lab for a couple of nights.
It’s a mouse liver and spleen – and together, they took up almost the whole abdominal cavity! The spleen was 12 times bigger than a normal one. You can see that the normal structure of liver was basically replaced by a lot of “tumor-like” nodes. So it seems that this animal died from cancer or metastasis.

But the magic is that I didn’t even inject any tumor cells or insert any oncogenes to cause these nodes, nor were they caused by parasites.
It happened when I just serially transplanted bone marrow cells in the 4th recipient from one of my genetically modified mice.

Flow cytometry showed me that these white infiltrates are the donor’s myeloid cells, and moreover – they are immature, because a lot of them expressed the stem cell marker c-Kit. So this is a leukemic (or MPD) death!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

JWS June 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm



Alex June 4, 2008 at 3:35 am

thanks! I was really really impressed,
other animal from the same group had spleen = 1.72g vs 0.1g in normal mice. It was biggest spleen that i ever seen!


cc June 4, 2008 at 9:30 pm



jonrowley June 15, 2008 at 12:19 am

so, can you explain to a lay-biomedical engineer what the mechanism is? you say 4th serial Tx, so is it possible the cells have been around too long?

btw: cool picture


Alex June 17, 2008 at 5:19 am

I don’t know what is exact mechanism. Bone marrow cells were around that long because they came from original donor (1st bone marrow transplant) – genetically modified mouse with abnormal hematopoiesis and HSC self-renewal. But these mice don’t develop leukemia-like disease spontaneously – they live happy life. So when I transplanted BM cells from them I promote enhanced self-renewal that leads to leukemia-like fatal disease development. It will take some time from me to understand mechanisms and repeat experiments with controls.


Thomas Ichim April 9, 2009 at 2:08 am

can we say splenomegaly?


Alex April 9, 2009 at 2:17 am

yes! this spleen is huge, about 10-15 times bigger then normal


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