Molecular imaging and biology : MIB : the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging

Using Dual Fluorescence Reporting Genes to Establish an In Vivo Imaging Model of Orthotopic Lung Adenocarcinoma in Mice.

PMID 27197534


Lung adenocarcinoma is characterized by a poor prognosis and high mortality worldwide. In this study, we purposed to use the live imaging techniques and a reporter gene that generates highly penetrative near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence to establish a preclinical animal model that allows in vivo monitoring of lung cancer development and provides a non-invasive tool for the research on lung cancer pathogenesis and therapeutic efficacy. A human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (A549), which stably expressed the dual fluorescence reporting gene (pCAG-iRFP-2A-Venus), was used to generate subcutaneous or orthotopic lung cancer in nude mice. Cancer development was evaluated by live imaging via the NIR fluorescent signals from iRFP, and the signals were verified ex vivo by the green fluorescence of Venus from the gross lung. The tumor-bearing mice received miR-16 nucleic acid therapy by intranasal administration to demonstrate therapeutic efficacy in this live imaging system. For the subcutaneous xenografts, the detection of iRFP fluorescent signals revealed delicate changes occurring during tumor growth that are not distinguishable by conventional methods of tumor measurement. For the orthotopic xenografts, the positive correlation between the in vivo iRFP signal from mice chests and the ex vivo green fluorescent signal from gross lung tumors and the results of the suppressed tumorigenesis by miR-16 treatment indicated that lung tumor size can be accurately quantified by the emission of NIR fluorescence. In addition, orthotopic lung tumor localization can be accurately visualized using iRFP fluorescence tomography in vivo, thus revealing the trafficking of lung tumor cells. We introduced a novel dual fluorescence lung cancer model that provides a non-invasive option for preclinical research via the use of NIR fluorescence in live imaging of lung.