Susceptibility of the C2 canine mastocytoma cell line to the effects of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)

Richard Elders, S.j. Baines, B. Catchpole

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Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the TNF family, which preferentially induces apoptosis in cells that have undergone malignant transformation. In humans, non-neoplastic cells are normally protected from the effects of TRAIL by expressing decoy receptors, lacking death domains. In contrast, neoplastic cells tend to downregulate their decoy receptor expression, increasing their susceptibility to the pro-apoptotic effects of TRAIL, via the functional TRAIL receptors. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of TRAIL on the canine C2 mastocytoma cell line to determine whether this agent might be a suitable treatment for mast cell tumors in dogs.

C2 and MDCK cells were cultured with recombinant human TRAIL. Apoptosis was assessed using a Caspase 3 and 7 chemiluminescence assay and flow cytometry following Annexin V:FITC labelling. Cell metabolism was assessed using a colorimetric MTT-based assay. C2 cells demonstrated greater sensitivity to TRAIL-induced apoptosis compared to MDCK cells by all assessment methods. The dog genome assembly was searched for orthologs of TRAIL and its receptors using published sequences from other species for reference. Although a canine ortholog for TRAIL was identified, only one TRAIL receptor ortholog (TNFRSF11B) could be found. C2, but not MDCK, cells expressed mRNA for TNFRSF11B, detected by RT-PCR. In other species, TNFRSF11B is a decoy receptor, as even though it has a death domain it is secreted due to its lack of a transmembrane domain. The effect of TRAIL on the C2 cell line suggests that this cytokine might be suitable for treatment of mast cell tumors in dogs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • C2
  • Mast cell tumor

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