Genetically obese mice: resistance to metastasis of B16 melanoma and enhanced T-lymphocyte mitogenic responses

Science  10 Jun 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4602, pp. 1183-1185
DOI: 10.1126/science.6602379


The metastasis of B16 melanoma cells differed significantly in obese (ob/ob) and lean (+/?) female mice of strain C57BL/6J. When the mice were inoculated subcutaneously with melanoma cells at 10 to 11 months of age, the primary tumor grew more slowly in obese than in lean littermates and the frequency of lung metastasis was greatly reduced. When the mice were injected with the cells at 4 to 7 months, the primary tumor grew at the same rate in obese and lean mice, but the obese mice again showed a significantly reduced frequency of lung metastasis. That this effect was related to an enhanced immunocompetence in obese mice was supported by the finding that splenic lymphocytes of ob/ob mice showed three times the proliferative response to the T-cell mitogen concanavalin A compared with the proliferative response of lean control mice. The ob/ob mouse may provide a model for the study of enhanced immunocompetence in obese individuals.