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The C26 adenocarcinoma tumor line is frequently used to establish peripheral tumors in mice for the study of cancer cachexia and cancer-related fatigue. Recently, we have noticed a progressive decline in the effects of tumor growth on our biological and behavioral measures in the tumor-bearing mice. Therefore, we compared effects of three aliquots of the C26 tumor cell line that differed in storage condition and number of passages on cytokine secretion, tumor growth, weight loss and fatigue behavior. Three aliquots of the C26 tumor line were selected as alpha (α), beta (β), and gamma (γ). Aliquot α was an original C26 stock line that had been stored at −80 °C. Aliquot β was stored in liquid nitrogen. Aliquot γ was taken from aliquot β and passaged three times. The three aliquots of the C26 tumor line showed differences in IL-6 mRNA and protein secretion in vitro, with aliquot β showing the greatest IL-6 secretion. These differences were mirrored in vivo. Plasma IL-6 levels were elevated in all tumor bearing mice but was greatest in group β mice. Carcass weight was decreased in all three tumor groups. Brain expression of IL-1β mRNA was greatest in group β and group β demonstrated the greatest decline in running activity at day 19.
- Storage conditions and number of passages influence C26 tumor cell secretion of cytokines.
- Variations in C26 aliquots may explain differences observed between laboratories using the same cell line.
- We recommend always storing cell lines in liquid nitrogen and limiting the number of passages before use in experiments.
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