We have developed a mouse model for ovarian carcinoma by using an avian retroviral gene delivery technique for the introduction of multiple genes into somatic ovarian cells of adult mice. Ovarian cells from transgenic mice engineered to express the gene encoding the avian receptor TVA were efficiently infected in vitro with multiple vectors carrying coding sequences for oncogenes and marker genes. When target cells were derived from TVA transgenic mice deficient for p53, the addition of any two of the oncogenes c-myc, K-ras, and Akt were sufficient to induce ovarian tumor formation when infected cells were injected at subcutaneous, intraperitoneal, or ovarian sites. We demonstrated that the ovarian surface epithelium is the precursor tissue for these ovarian carcinomas, and that introduction of oncogenes causes phenotypic changes in the ovarian surface epithelial cells. The induced ovarian tumors in mice resembled human ovarian carcinomas in their rapid progression and intraperitoneal metastatic spread.
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