Phaeochromocytomas (PCCs) are benign neuroendocrine tumours of the adrenal medulla. Approximately 10% of PCC patients develop metastases, but this frequency is much higher in specific subtypes of patients. The reliable diagnosis of malignant PCC can only be made after identification of a metastasis. To study the effect of Trp53 inactivation on PCC pathogenesis in Pten KO mice, we investigated the adrenals of a large cohort of mice with conditional monoallelic and biallelic inactivation of Trp53 and Pten. The adrenal weights were determined for all mice, and in a proportion of these mice, immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine β-hydroxylase was performed on the adrenals and corresponding lungs. Finally, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) was performed. The histological and immunohistochemical results confirmed that the adrenal tumours were PCCs. Inactivation of one or both alleles of Trp53 resulted in earlier tumour occurrence in the PtenloxP/loxP mice as well as in the Pten loxP/+ mice. In addition, lung metastases were found in up to 67% of mice. The CGH results showed that the most frequent genomic alterations were loss of chromosome 19 (86%) and gain of chromosome 15 (71%). In this study, we have shown that Pten/Trp53 KO mice showed metastatic PCC at high frequency and primary tumours occurred at younger ages in mice with Trp53 inactivation. Therefore, the present model appears to be a suitable model that might allow the preclinical study of new therapeutics for these tumours.

dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-12-0088, hdl.handle.net/1765/66248
Endocrine - Related Cancer
Department of Pathology

Korpershoek, E, Kloosterhof, N.K, Ziel-van der Made, A.C.J, Korsten, H, Oudijk, L, Trapman, J, … de Krijger, R.R. (2012). Trp53 inactivation leads to earlier phaeochromocytoma formation in pten knockout mice. Endocrine - Related Cancer, 19(6), 731–740. doi:10.1530/ERC-12-0088