Dynamic contrast enhanced fluorescent molecular imaging of vascular disruption induced by combretastatin-A4P in tumor xenografts

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Dynamic contrast enhanced (DyCE) fluorescence imaging was recently demonstrated for identifying the organs in mice based on principal component analysis (PCA) of contrast kinetics following infusion of indocyanine green (ICG). It occurred to us that this approach could be used to evaluate acute effects of vascular disrupting agents (VDAs), since these cause massive vascular shutdown. As proof of principle, we have examined the action of combretastatin-A4P (CA4P) on MCF7 human breast tumors growing in nude mice. Tumors were implanted in the thigh and allowed to grow to about 7 mm diameter. Indocyanine green (ICG; 50 μl 260 μM) was administered as a bolus by tail vein injection to anesthetized mice. The fluorescence time course was acquired over 200 s using a sensitive charge-coupled device (CCD) camera system. CA4P was then administered IP (120 mg/kg in 100 μl saline) and DyCE repeated following administration of fresh ICG two and 24 hours later. At 2 hours the developed fluorescence intensity was much reduced in the tumors indicating vascular impairment, which was confirmed histologically. After 24 hours there was considerable recovery. Good reproducibility was found for control mice and normal organs. We believe the method shows promise for developing VDAs by evaluating and optimizing therapeutic drug doses and combinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1545-1551
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Breast cancer
  • Combretastatin-A4P
  • Dynamic contrast enhanced imaging
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Indocyanine green
  • Mice
  • Tumor
  • Vascular disrupting agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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