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Cancer Res. 2005 Jun 15;65(12):5352-7.

Nestin-linked green fluorescent protein transgenic nude mouse for imaging human tumor angiogenesis.

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AntiCancer, Inc., San Diego, California 92111, USA.


We report here a novel transgenic nude mouse for the visualization of human tumor angiogenesis. We have recently shown that the neural stem cell marker nestin is expressed in hair follicle stem cells and blood vessel networks in the skin of C57/B6 transgenic mice with nestin regulatory element-driven green fluorescent protein (ND-GFP). Others have shown ND-GFP is expressed in the brain, pancreas, and testes in these mice. In the present study, the nestin ND-GFP gene was crossed into nude mice on the C57/B6 background to obtain ND-GFP nude mice. ND-GFP was expressed in the brain, spinal cord, pancreas, stomach, esophagus, heart, lung, blood vessels of glomeruli, blood vessels of skeletal muscle, testes, hair follicles, and blood vessel network in the skin of ND-GFP nude mice. Human lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer cell lines as well as a murine melanoma cell line and breast cancer tumor cell line expressing red fluorescent protein were implanted orthotopically, and a red fluorescent protein-expressing human fibrosarcoma was implanted s.c. in the ND-GFP nude mice. These tumors grew extensively in the ND-GFP mice. ND-GFP was highly expressed in proliferating endothelial cells and nascent blood vessels in the growing tumors, visualized by dual-color fluorescence imaging. Results of immunohistochemical staining showed that CD31 was expressed in the ND-GFP-expressing nascent blood vessels. The ND-GFP transgenic nude mouse model enables the visualization of nascent angiogenesis in human and mouse tumor progression. These results suggest that this model is useful for the imaging of the angiogenesis of human as well as rodent tumors and visualization of the efficacy of angiogenetic inhibitors.

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