Research Papers:

Optical in vivo imaging detection of preclinical models of gut tumors through the expression of integrin αVβ3

Giulia Marelli, Roberta Avigni, Paola Allavena, Cecilia Garlanda, Alberto Mantovani, Andrea Doni and Marco Erreni _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:31380-31396. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25826

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Giulia Marelli1,4, Roberta Avigni1, Paola Allavena1,2, Cecilia Garlanda1,2, Alberto Mantovani1,2,3, Andrea Doni1 and Marco Erreni1

1IRCCS Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Milan, Italy

2Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milan, Italy

3The William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

4Current address: Center for Molecular Oncology, Bart Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Correspondence to:

Marco Erreni, email: [email protected]

Keywords: optical imaging; FMT; intestine tumor; integrin αVβ3, colorectal cancer

Received: February 01, 2018     Accepted: July 12, 2018     Published: July 31, 2018


Optical imaging and Fluorescent Molecular Tomography (FMT) are becoming increasingly important for the study of different preclinical models of cancer, providing a non-invasive method for the evaluation of tumor progression in a relatively simple and fast way. Intestinal tumors, in particular colorectal cancer (CRC), represent a major cause of cancer-related death in Western countries: despite the presence of a number of preclinical models of intestinal carcinogenesis, there is a paucity of information about the possibility to detect intestinal tumors using fluorescent probes and optical in vivo imaging. Herein, we identify the detection of integrin αvβ3 by FMT and optical imaging as an effective approach to assess the occurrence and progression of intestinal carcinogenesis in genetic and chemically-induced mouse models. For this purpose, a commercially available probe (IntegriSense), recognizing integrin αvβ3, was injected in APC+/min mice bearing small intestinal adenomas or CRC: FMT analysis allowed a specific tumor detection, further confirmed by subsequent ex vivo imaging or conventional histology. In addition, IntegriSense detection by FMT allowed the longitudinal monitoring of tumor growth. Taken together, our data indicate the possibility to use integrin αvβ3 for the visualization of intestinal tumors in preclinical models.

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