Metastatic bone disease caused by renal cell carcinoma (RCC) occurs frequently. Very little is currently known about the mechanism of preferential metastasis of RCC to bone. We hypothesize that RCCs that develop bone metastases have the capacity to facilitate their colonization in bone. To examine this hypothesis, we established bone-seeking (ACHN-BO) clones of the human RCC cell line ACHN by repeated four passages in nude mice and in vitro of metastatic cells obtained from bone. These clones were examined for distinguishing biological characteristics and compared with the ACHN parental cells (ACHN-P) in vivo and in vitro. Our results showed that the ACHN-BO cell line could be successfully obtained by in vivo selection through the lateral tail vein. This approach results in the development of multiple osteolytic lesions in the distal femora and proximal tibiae within four weeks after inoculation, with a success rate of 85-100% and no additional comorbidity. ACHN-P cells developed metastases in lung, bone, brain, ovary and adrenal glands. Conversely, ACHN-BO cells exclusively metastasized to bones with larger osteolytic lesions. Compared with the ACHN-P cell line, the proliferation ability in ACHN-BO6 was increased by 9.68 and 6.42%, respectively (P<0.05), while the apoptotic ratio decreased significantly (P<0.05) and cells were blocked in the S phase with suppressed migration and invasion capacities. The ACHN-BO 6 cell line produced greater amounts of the pro-angiogenic factors VEGF and TGF-β than ACHN-P. Our data suggest that these phenotypic changes allow RCC cells to promote osteoclastic bone resorption, survive and proliferate in bone, which consequently leads to the establishment of bone metastases. This model provides a reliable reproduction of the clinical situation and, therefore, is suitable for designing and evaluating more effective treatments for RCC bone metastasis.
Wang, J., Chen, A., Yang, C., Zeng, H., Qi, J., & Guo, F. J. (2012). A bone-seeking clone exhibits different biological properties from the ACHN parental human renal cell carcinoma in vivo and in vitro. Oncology Reports, 27(4), 1104–1110. https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2011.1572