Am J Cancer Res 2011;1(5):674-686

Review Article
Intravital microscopy in the mouse dorsal chamber model for the study of solid

Véronique T. Baron, John Welsh, Parisa Abedinpour, Per Borgström

Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego, San Diego, CA 92121, USA

Received April 11, 2011; accepted April 26, 2011; Epub May 1, 2011; published May 15, 2011

Abstract: Intra-Vital Microscopy (IVM) is used to visualize tumors in animals and analyze various aspects of cancer physiology
such as tumor vascularization, cell migration and metastasis. The main advantages of IVM include the real-time analysis of
dynamic processes with single-cell resolution. The application of IVM, however, is limited by the availability of animal models that
carry visually accessible tumors. These models have evolved over time to become more and more relevant to human tumors.
The latest step is the development of a pseudo-orthotopic, syngeneic model for tumor growth and metastasis. In this model,
tissue from a variety of mouse organs are grafted in a dorsal skinfold chamber and allowed to revascularize, whereupon tumor
cell spheroids are implanted. These spheroids develop into tumors that bear a much closer resemblance to human tumors than
xenografts. Unlike xenografts, the vasculature is well-ordered and, because the model is syngeneic, there are no cross-species
host immune reactions. The use of fluorescence-tagged pseudo-organs and tumor cells allows IVM analysis and provides
real-time access to the development of tumors that closely resemble the real disease. This model can be used to test
therapeutics and to image tumor development and stroma-tumor interactions. (AJCR0000060).

Keywords: Intra-Vital Microscopy (IVM), mouse dorsal model, solid tumor, cancer, vascularization, cell migration and metastasis

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Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Véronique Baron and Dr. Per Borgström
Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego (VRISD)
10835 Road to the Cure, Suite 150
San Diego, CA 92121, USA.
Tel: (858) 775-1736
E-mail: Véronique Baron:
E-mail: Per Borgström:
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American Journal of Cancer Research
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