Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Optimization of Human Cancer Cell Xenograft Into Zebrafish Larvae for Anti-Cancer Drug Screening

Version 1 : Received: 4 June 2021 / Approved: 7 June 2021 / Online: 7 June 2021 (08:01:21 CEST)

How to cite: Haney, M.G.; Young, L.E.A.; Moore, L.H.; Chernyavskaya, Y.; Wei, M.; Markussen, K.H.; Ptacek, A.; Dockins, S.; Sanders, W.C.; Sun, R.C.; Blackburn, J.S. Optimization of Human Cancer Cell Xenograft Into Zebrafish Larvae for Anti-Cancer Drug Screening. Preprints 2021, 2021060150 Haney, M.G.; Young, L.E.A.; Moore, L.H.; Chernyavskaya, Y.; Wei, M.; Markussen, K.H.; Ptacek, A.; Dockins, S.; Sanders, W.C.; Sun, R.C.; Blackburn, J.S. Optimization of Human Cancer Cell Xenograft Into Zebrafish Larvae for Anti-Cancer Drug Screening. Preprints 2021, 2021060150

Abstract

Transplant of human cancer cells into zebrafish larvae has emerged as a useful methodology in cancer research. Zebrafish have very low husbandry costs, are amenable to large-scale drug screening, and are unmatched for optical clarity in live animal imaging. However, there is currently no consensus on the ideal methods for xenograft of human cancer cells into zebrafish. Here, we have examined the effects of transplant site and housing temperature on both zebrafish larvae and human cancer cells using survival analyses, metabolomic approaches, and in vivo imaging. Our data show that while zebrafish larvae can adapt to the ideal conditions for mammalian cells, human cancer cells are highly sensitive to both temperature change and transplant site. Human cells housed in slightly cooler than physiologic temperatures had a significantly altered metabolism that resulted in changes in growth, survival, and response to chemotherapy. Cancer cells xenografted into the yolk of the larvae also had reduced proliferation and drug response compared to those xenografted into the soma, in part due to the differences in metabolites available at these sites. In total, temperature and transplant site can have profound effects on xenografted cells. Standardization of zebrafish xenograft methods will enhance data reproducibility between individual laboratories.

Keywords

gas chromatography mass spectrometry; metabolomics; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; confocal microscopy; high-throughput drug screens; VAST

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