Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Res. 2006 Dec 1;66(23):11293-7.

In vivo color-coded imaging of the interaction of colon cancer cells and splenocytes in the formation of liver metastases.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, USA.


The role of host cells in tumor progression and metastasis is critical. Intrasplenic injection of tumor cells has long been known as an effective method of developing liver metastases in nude mice, whereas portal vein (PV) injection of tumor cells can result in rapid death of the tumor cells. Host cells were thought to play a role in these phenomena. We report here that after splenic injection of tumor cells, splenocytes cotraffic with the tumor cells to the liver and facilitate metastatic colony formation. Human colon cancer cells that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) linked to histone H2B in the nucleus and red fluorescent protein (RFP) in the cytoplasm (HCT-116-GFP-RFP) were injected in either the PV or spleen of nude mice and imaged at the subcellular level in vivo. Extensive clasmocytosis (destruction of the cytoplasm) of the cancer cells occurred within 6 hours after PV injection and essentially all the cancer cells died. In contrast, splenic injection of these tumor cells resulted in the aggressive formation of liver and distant metastasis. GFP spleen cells were found in the liver metastases that resulted from intrasplenic injection of the tumor cells in transgenic nude mice ubiquitously expressing GFP. When GFP spleen cells and the RFP cancer cells were coinjected in the PV, liver metastasis resulted that contained GFP spleen cells. These results suggest a novel tumor-host interaction that enables efficient formation of liver metastasis via intrasplenic injection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk