Syngeneic Mouse Orthotopic Allografts to Model Pancreatic Cancer

Schmitt, C., Saur, D., Barthel, S., and Falcomata, C. (2022). J Vis Exp. doi: 10.3791/64253


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a very complex disease characterized by a heterogeneous tumor microenvironment made up of a diverse stroma, immune cells, vessels, nerves, and extracellular matrix components. Over the years, different mouse models of PDAC have been developed to address the challenges posed by its progression, metastatic potential, and phenotypic heterogeneity. Immunocompetent mouse orthotopic allografts of PDAC have shown good promise owing to their fast and reproducible tumor progression in comparison to genetically engineered mouse models. Moreover, combined with their ability to mimic the biological features observed in autochthonous PDAC, cell line-based orthotopic allograft mouse models enable large-scale in vivo experiments. Thus, these models are widely used in preclinical studies for rapid genotype-phenotype and drug-response analyses. The aim of this protocol is to provide a reproducible and robust approach to successfully inject primary mouse PDAC cell cultures into the pancreas of syngeneic recipient mice. In addition to the technical details, important information is given that must be considered before performing these experiments.