Animal models of pheochromocytoma including NIH initial experience.
ABSTRACT Mouse models have been used to study the mechanisms underlying the carcinogenesis of a wide variety of human cancer. A considerable number of mouse and rat models, used for the study of elementary tumorgenic mechanisms, were found to develop pheochromocytomas. Some of these models resemble hereditary syndrome-related pheochromocytoma in humans and some may serve as a new starting point for human pheochromocytoma research. Recently, we generated a model of catecholamine-producing metastatic pheochromocytoma in athymic nude mice using tail-vein injection of mouse pheochromocytoma cells (MPCs). This and alternative animal models of metastatic pheochromocytoma are promising avenues in preclinical studies to evaluate new therapeutic approaches for malignant pheochromocytoma.