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Biomed Opt Express. 2013 May 30;4(6):967-77. doi: 10.1364/BOE.4.000967. Print 2013 Jun 1.

Direct visualization of changes of lymphatic function and drainage pathways in lymph node metastasis of B16F10 melanoma using near-infrared fluorescence imaging.

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1
Center for Molecular Imaging, The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

The lymphatic system provides an initial route for cancer cell dissemination in many cancers including melanoma. However, it is largely unknown how the lymphatic system changes during tumor progression due in part to the lack of imaging techniques currently available. In this study, we non-invasively imaged changes of lymphatic function and drainage patterns using near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging. Dynamic NIRF imaging following intradermal injection of indocyanine green (ICG) was conducted in C57BL/6 mice prior to inoculation of B16F10 murine melanoma cells to the dorsal aspect of the left hindpaw for baseline data or directly to the popliteal lymph node (PLN) and until 21 days post-implantation (p.i.). A series of acquired fluorescent images were quantified to measure lymphatic contractile function. Computed tomography (CT) was also performed to measure the volume of tumor-draining lymph nodes (LNs). We observed significant reduction of lymphatic contractility from 7 days p.i. until 21 days p.i.. Altered lymphatic drainage patterns were also detected at 21 days p.i. in mice with tumor in the paw and at 11 days p.i. in mice with tumor in the PLN, due to lymphatic obstruction of normal lymphatic drainages caused by extensive tumor invasion of draining LNs. Since lymphatic function and architecture were progressively altered during tumor growth and metastasis, non-invasive NIRF imaging may provide a new method to stage disease. In addition, this novel technique can be used as a diagnostic method to non-invasively assess lymphatic response as mechanism of therapeutic action.

KEYWORDS:

(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.2655) Functional monitoring and imaging; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.4580) Optical diagnostics for medicine

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