To date, the effect of housing temperature on tumor development in the immunocompetent mice has been studied on poorly immunogenic cancer models. Standard housing temperature 20–26°C was shown to cause chronic metabolic cold stress and promote tumor progression via suppression of the antitumor immune response, whereas a thermoneutral temperature 30-31°C was more preferable for normal metabolism of mice and inhibited tumor growth. Our work represents the first attempt to discover the potential effect of housing temperature on the development of highly immunogenic tumor. EGFP-expressing murine colon carcinoma CT26 generated in Balb/c mice was used as a tumor model. No statistically significant differences were shown in tumor incidences and growth rates at 20°С, 25°С and 30°С for non-modified CT26. Maintaining mice challenged with CT26-EGFP cells at 30°С led to complete inhibition of tumor development. In summary, we demonstrated that the housing temperature is important for the regulation of growth of highly immunogenic tumors in mice through antitumor immunity.
The development of tumor therapies based on the activation of antitumor immunity requires tumor models that are highly immunogenic. The immunologic response to fluorescent proteins, green fluorescent protein (GFP), or enhanced GFP (EGFP) was demonstrated in different cancer models. However, for live animal imaging, red and far-red fluorescent proteins are preferable, but their immunogenicity has not been studied. We assessed the immunogenicity of the red fluorescent protein, KillerRed (KR), in CT26 murine colon carcinoma. We showed a slower growth and a lower tumor incidence of KR-expressing tumors in comparison with nonexpressing ones. We found that KR-expressing lung metastases and rechallenged tumors were not formed in mice that had been surgically cured of KR-expressing primary tumors. The effect of low-dose cyclophosphamide (CY) treatment was also tested, as this is known to activate antitumor immune responses. The low-dose CY therapy of CT26-KR tumors resulted in inhibition of tumor growth and improved mouse survival. In summary, we have established a highly immunogenic tumor model that could be valuable for investigations of the mechanisms of antitumor immunity and the development of new therapeutic approaches.