Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 453–460 | Cite as

Experimental liver metastasis: Standards for local cell implantation to study isolated tumor growth in mice

  • Otto Kollmar
  • Martin K. Schilling
  • Michael D. Menger


Experimental hepatic metastasis of colorectal tumors is frequently studied by local intrahepatic tumor cell implantation. However, although a variety of factors of the implantation procedure may markedly influence tumor growth characteristics, standards are not defined yet. Herein, we studied the effect of different modes of cell implantation on tumor growth and angiogenesis by in vivo fluorescence microscopy and histology seven days after grafting colorectal CT26.WT tumor cells into the left liver lobe of syngeneic BALB/c mice. We demonstrate that (i) radial growth of cells implanted within the central area of the lobe is inhibited by a regularly observed fissura which crosses at midline the surface of the lobe; (ii) cells suspended during implantation in RPMI show an uncontrolled overwhelming growth 40-fold of those suspended in PBS; (iii) cell implantation in 100 μl and 20 μl suspension medium is significantly more complicated by rupture of the liver capsule, uncontrolled intraparenchymal cell spread and recoil of the cells through the injection canal compared to cells suspended in 10 μl; (iv) the frequency of metastasis within the injection canal and at the puncture site is significantly reduced using 32G compared to 27G or 29G needles; (v) occlusion of the puncture site by acrylic glue or electric coagulation completely abolishes peritoneal tumor spread compared to no treatment or gentle compression by cotton gauze. We conclude that a standardized growth of isolated metastases is best achieved by implanting CT26.WT cells in a 10 μ l PBS blister subcapsularly into the paramedian area of the lower surface of the left liver lobe, using a 32-gauge needle and closing the puncture site with acrylic glue.


colorectal cancer liver metastasis tumor model intravital fluorescence microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otto Kollmar
    • 1
  • Martin K. Schilling
    • 1
  • Michael D. Menger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General, Visceral and Vascular SurgeryUniversity of SaarlandGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Clinical & Experimental SurgeryUniversity of SaarlandHomburg/SaarGermany

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