Bioluminescent imaging of melanoma in live mice.
ABSTRACT Melanoma is highly resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic agents and novel therapeutic approaches are needed. Current animal models of melanoma in animals are sub-optimal. The most commonly used homograft model is the B16 mouse melanoma. Evaluation of potential melanoma therapies with this model is limited by the inaccuracy of caliper measurement of subcutaneous tumors, of counting lung nodules in metastasis models, and the indirect nature of "survival" curves when studying brain metastases. We have developed and characterized an accurate, sensitive, and reproducible bioluminescent B16 melanoma model that allows for serial, real-time analyses of tumor burden in live mice. We demonstrate that this model is applicable to subcutaneous tumors, lung metastases, and intracranial tumors and offers a solution to many of the limitations of previous models. As proof of principle, we use this model to show the efficacy of a live, Listeria monocytogenes vaccine expressing the melanoma antigen tyrosinase-related protein-2 to protect mice against intravenous B16 melanoma challenge. Additionally, we extend our approach to include the human A375 melanoma model and are able to show in vivo differences between sub-lines with varying metastatic potential. These models represent an accurate and reproducible means for in vivo melanoma monitoring in preclinical studies.
Article: Luciferase expression and bioluminescence does not affect tumor cell growth in vitro or in vivo.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Live animal imaging is becoming an increasingly common technique for accurate and quantitative assessment of tumor burden over time. Bioluminescence imaging systems rely on a bioluminescent signal from tumor cells, typically generated from expression of the firefly luciferase gene. However, previous reports have suggested that either a high level of luciferase or the resultant light reaction produced upon addition of D-luciferin substrate can have a negative influence on tumor cell growth. To address this issue, we designed an expression vector that allows simultaneous fluorescence and luminescence imaging. Using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), we generated clonal cell populations from a human breast cancer (MCF-7) and a mouse melanoma (B16-F10) cell line that stably expressed different levels of luciferase. We then compared the growth capabilities of these clones in vitro by MTT proliferation assay and in vivo by bioluminescence imaging of tumor growth in live mice. Surprisingly, we found that neither the amount of luciferase nor biophotonic activity was sufficient to inhibit tumor cell growth, in vitro or in vivo. These results suggest that luciferase toxicity is not a necessary consideration when designing bioluminescence experiments, and therefore our approach can be used to rapidly generate high levels of luciferase expression for sensitive imaging experiments.Molecular Cancer 01/2010; 9:299. · 3.99 Impact Factor