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Proceedings Paper

Subcellular real-time in vivo imaging of intralymphatic and intravascular cancer-cell trafficking
Author(s): M. McElroy; K. Hayashi; S. Kaushal; M. Bouvet; Robert M. Hoffman
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Paper Abstract

With the use of fluorescent cells labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the nucleus and red fluorescent protein (RFP) in the cytoplasm and a highly sensitive small animal imaging system with both macro-optics and micro-optics, we have developed subcellular real-time imaging of cancer cell trafficking in live mice. Dual-color cancer cells were injected by a vascular route in an abdominal skin flap in nude mice. The mice were imaged with an Olympus OV100 small animal imaging system with a sensitive CCD camera and four objective lenses, parcentered and parfocal, enabling imaging from macrocellular to subcellular. We observed the nuclear and cytoplasmic behavior of cancer cells in real time in blood vessels as they moved by various means or adhered to the vessel surface in the abdominal skin flap. During extravasation, real-time dual-color imaging showed that cytoplasmic processes of the cancer cells exited the vessels first, with nuclei following along the cytoplasmic projections. Both cytoplasm and nuclei underwent deformation during extravasation. Different cancer cell lines seemed to strongly vary in their ability to extravasate. We have also developed real-time imaging of cancer cell trafficking in lymphatic vessels. Cancer cells labeled with GFP and/or RFP were injected into the inguinal lymph node of nude mice. The labeled cancer cells trafficked through lymphatic vessels where they were imaged via a skin flap in real-time at the cellular level until they entered the axillary lymph node. The bright dual-color fluorescence of the cancer cells and the real-time microscopic imaging capability of the Olympus OV100 enabled imaging the trafficking cancer cells in both blood vessels and lymphatics. With the dual-color cancer cells and the highly sensitive imaging system described here, the subcellular dynamics of cancer metastasis can now be observed in live mice in real time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2008
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6868, Small Animal Whole-Body Optical Imaging Based on Genetically Engineered Probes, 68680J (13 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.772120
Show Author Affiliations
M. McElroy, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
K. Hayashi, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
AntiCancer, Inc. (United States)
S. Kaushal, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
M. Bouvet, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Robert M. Hoffman, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
AntiCancer, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6868:
Small Animal Whole-Body Optical Imaging Based on Genetically Engineered Probes
Alexander P. Savitsky; Robert E. Campbell; Robert M. Hoffman, Editor(s)

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