Bioluminescent Approaches for Measuring Tumor Growth in a Mouse Model of Neurofibromatosis

Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.
Toxicologic Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.14). 02/2010; 38(1):123-30. DOI: 10.1177/0192623309357075
Source: PubMed


Neurofibomatosis (NF1) patients are susceptible to multiple tumors of the nervous system including neurofibromas, optic glioma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), and astrocytoma. The Nf1+/-;Trp53+/- (NPcis) mouse model of NF1 spontaneously develops astrocytoma and MPNSTs that are very similar to human NF1 tumors. To use this model for testing potential therapeutics, we have developed systems that take advantage of bioluminescent reporters of tumor growth. We have generated E2F1 promoter-driving luciferase (ELUX) reporter mice to detect proliferating tumors in NPcis mice in vivo using bioluminescence. The power of this system is that it enables looking at tumor evolution and detecting spontaneous tumors at early stages of development as they evolve within their natural haploinsufficient microenvironment. This system can be used to identify tumors at different stages of tumorigenesis and to examine where spontaneous NF1 tumors initiate. The ability to rapidly screen multiple animals at a time increases the potential for use of this model in preclinical trials. This model will be valuable for the characterization of spontaneous NF1 tumors and will be important for studying the treatment and prevention of NF1 tumors in vivo.

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