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Cancer Res. 2011 Jul 1;71(13):4608-16. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0412. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Analysis of mitosis and antimitotic drug responses in tumors by in vivo microscopy and single-cell pharmacodynamics.

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  • 1Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Cancer relies upon frequent or abnormal cell division, but how the tumor microenvironment affects mitotic processes in vivo remains unclear, largely due to the technical challenges of optical access, spatial resolution, and motion. We developed high-resolution in vivo microscopy methods to visualize mitosis in a murine xenograft model of human cancer. Using these methods, we determined whether the single-cell response to the antimitotic drug paclitaxel (Ptx) was the same in tumors as in cell culture, observed the impact of Ptx on the tumor response as a whole, and evaluated the single-cell pharmacodynamics (PD) of Ptx (by in vivo PD microscopy). Mitotic initiation was generally less frequent in tumors than in cell culture, but subsequently it proceeded normally. Ptx treatment caused spindle assembly defects and mitotic arrest, followed by slippage from mitotic arrest, multinucleation, and apoptosis. Compared with cell culture, the peak mitotic index in tumors exposed to Ptx was lower and the tumor cells survived longer after mitotic arrest, becoming multinucleated rather than dying directly from mitotic arrest. Thus, the tumor microenvironment was much less proapoptotic than cell culture. The morphologies associated with mitotic arrest were dose and time dependent, thereby providing a semiquantitative, single-cell measure of PD. Although many tumor cells did not progress through Ptx-induced mitotic arrest, tumor significantly regressed in the model. Our findings show that in vivo microscopy offers a useful tool to visualize mitosis during tumor progression, drug responses, and cell fate at the single-cell level.

©2011 AACR.

PMID:
21712408
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3129392
Free PMC Article
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