Oncolytic replication-selective adenoviruses constitute a rapidly expanding experimental approach to the treatment of cancer. However, due to the lack of an immunocompetent and replication-competent efficacy model, the role of the host immune response and viral E3 immunoregulatory genes remained unknown. We screened nine murine carcinoma lines for adenovirus (Ad5) uptake, gene expression, replication, and cytopathic effects. In seven of these murine cell lines the infectability and cytopathic effects were similar to those seen with human carcinoma lines. Surprisingly, productive viral replication was demonstrated in several lines; replication varied from levels similar to those for some human carcinoma lines (e.g., CMT-64) to very low levels. Seven of these lines were grown as subcutaneous xenografts in immunocompetent mice and were subsequently injected directly with Ad5, saline, or a replication-deficient control adenovirus particle to assess intratumoral viral gene expression, replication, and antitumoral effects. E1A, coat protein expression, and cytopathic effects were documented in five xenografts; Ad5 replication was demonstrated in CMT-64 and JC xenografts. Ad5 demonstrated significant efficacy compared to saline and nonreplicating control Ad particles in both replication-permissive xenografts (CMT-64, JC) and poorly permissive tumors (CMT-93); efficacy against CMT-93 tumors was significantly greater in immunocompetent mice compared to athymic mice. These murine tumor xenograft models have potential for elucidating viral and host immune mechanisms involved in oncolytic adenovirus antitumoral effects.
- experimental therapeutics