Intravital Microscopy of Tumor-associated Vasculature Using Advanced Dorsal Skinfold Window Chambers on Transgenic Fluorescent Mice

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Tumor and tumor vessel development, as well as tumor response to therapeutics, are highly dynamic biological processes. Histology provides static information and is often not sufficient for a correct interpretation. Intravital evaluation, in which a process is followed in time, provides extra and often unexpected information. With the creation of transgenic animals expressing cell-specific markers and live cell tracers, improvements to imaging equipment, and the development of several imaging chambers, intravital microscopy has become an important tool to better understand biological processes. This paper describes an experimental design for the investigation of tumor vessel development and of therapeutic effects in a spatial and temporal manner. Using this setup, the stage of vessel development, tip cell and lumen formation, blood flow, extravasation, an established vascular bed, and vascular destruction can be visualized and followed. Furthermore, therapeutic effects, intratumoral fate, and the localization of chemotherapeutic compounds can also be followed.