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Establishment of a dual-color fluorescence tracing orthotopic transplantation model of hepatocellular carcinoma

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Different experimental models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have been used to investigate the biological mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis and its progression. However, previous studies have highlighted the difficulty of distinguishing between the tumor cells and stroma in experimental models of HCC. Therefore the aim of the present study was to establish a redgreen dualcolor fluorescence tracing orthotopic transplantation model of HCC, and investigate its practical values. Stable high red fluorescent protein (RFP)expressing HepG2 human hepatoma cells and Hepa16 mice hepatoma cells were injected into the right liver lobe of green fluorescent proteinexpressing nude mice. The growth and metastasis of the tumors were visualized using a wholebody in vivo fluorescence imaging system in real time. HCC tissues were extracted from tumorbearing mice, and cut into 5µm serial frozen slices. The organizational structure of the transplanted tumors was observed under a microscope. A dualcolor fluorescence tracing orthotopic transplantation tumor model of HCC was successfully established with a success rate of 100%. The growth and metastasis of the tumors were visualized at each stage of development in the tumorbearing mice. Tumor cells with red fluorescence and host cells with green fluorescence were identified to merge in the reconstruction region of tumor tissue. The invasion, migration, and cell fusion between tumor and host cells was observed clearly. The dualcolor fluorescence tracing orthotopic transplantation model of HCC was determined to be a stable and reliable method for tracking tumor progression. Mutual interactions between hepatoma cells and host tissues may be observed directly using this model, further elucidating the development of the tumor microenvironment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215004, P.R. China 2: Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215004, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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