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Published April 15, 1993 | Published
Journal Article Open

Transgenic mouse model for neurocristopathy: Schwannomas and facial bone tumors


We have characterized a strain of double transgenic mice with simian virus 40 large tumor antigen and prokaryotic lacZ under the control of the myelin basic protein promoter that develops spindle-cell sarcomas and osteogenic sarcomas at 5-7 months of age. Although poorly differentiated, the spindle-cell sarcomas were characterized as malignant Schwannomas based on their neural association, the presence of basal lamina, and expression of Schwann cell-specific genes. The osteogenic sarcomas were often multiple and appeared predominantly in the facial bones, less frequently in the ribs and vertebral column, and only rarely in the appendicular skeleton. Benign osteoblastic lesions were often observed adjacent to these sarcomas. Both the osteoblastic cells in the facial skeleton and Schwann cells are regarded as neural crest derivatives. The biological properties and anatomical location of these tumors suggest that they may share a common origin from the neural crest or its derivatives. R.P. Bolande [Hum. Pathol. (1974) 5, 409-429] introduced the term neurocristopathy as a unifying concept to describe such lesions arising from the neural crest or its derivatives. Cell lines established from both bone and Schwann cell tumors arising in these transgenic mice express simian virus 40 large tumor antigen mRNA as well as functional large tumor antigen. Such cell lines are potentially valuable in the search for markers that identify mammalian neural crest derivatives.

Additional Information

© 1993 National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Leroy Hood, December 31, 1992. We thank E. Harlow for anti-T antigen antibody and G. Lemke and C. Puckett for plasmid DNA. This work was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health (POI AG07687), National Institute of Mental Health (5-ROI-MH 39145), and National Institutes of Health (AG 05142), and by a postdoctoral fellowship (to N.A.J.) from the Alfred Benzon Foundation, Denmark.

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