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Different characteristics of hepatoid and non-hepatoid alpha-fetoprotein-producing gastric carcinomas: an experimental study using xenografted tumors



Different characteristics of hepatoid and non-hepatoid alpha-fetoprotein-producing gastric carcinomas: an experimental study using xenografted tumors



International Journal of Cancer 58(3): 430-435



The characteristics, including metastatic potential, of 5 xenografts of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-producing gastric carcinomas in nude mice, designated TSG1, TSG3, TSG11, TSG17 and TSG20, were examined. Of these xenografts, TSG1, TSG11 and TSG20 were regarded as hepatoid adenocarcinomas based on their morphological resemblance to hepatocellular carcinoma, frequent immunoreactivity for liver-cell markers, and excessive production of AFP with a high concanavalin A (Con-A)-binding property of hepatic type. On the other hand, TSG3 and TSG 17 tumors showed the features of poorly differentiated medullary adenocarcinoma with scattered AFP-positive cells consistent with low AFP levels in mouse sera, and negative immunoreactivity for other liver-cell markers. Ultrastructurally, these tumors were composed of undifferentiated cells with a little adenocarcinomatous differentiation. Moreover, the AFP produced by TSG3 and TSG 17 tumors had an extremely high Con-A nonbound fraction (80% to 90%), which was different from that of the hepatic or yolk-sac types. Therefore, both TSG3 and TSG17 tumors were regarded as non-hepatoid, poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas which could be differentiated from any types of AFP-producing gastric carcinoma. Furthermore, cells from hepatoid adenocarcinoma strains (TSG1, TSG11 and TSG20) injected into the spleens of nude mice produced liver metastases in all the mice examined, whereas cells from non-hepatoid carcinoma strains (TSG3 and TSG17) produced few or no liver metastases. Our data show that some non-hepatoid AFP-producing gastric carcinomas have lower liver-metastasizing potential than hepatoid AFP-producing gastric carcinomas.

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Accession: 008467624

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PMID: 7519587


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