Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Metastases in Xenograft Mouse Models of Cancer
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of small animals has emerged as a valuable tool to noninvasively monitor tumor growth in mouse models of cancer. However, imaging of metastases in mouse models is difficult due to the need for high spatial resolution. We have demonstrated MRI of metastases in the liver, brain, adrenal glands, and lymph nodes in different xenograft mouse models of cancer. MRI of mice was performed with a clinical 3.0 T magnetic resonance scanner and a commercially available small-animal receiver coil. The imaging protocol consisted of T1- and T2-weighted fat-saturated spin echo sequences with a spatial resolution of 200 μm × 200 μm × 500 μm. Total acquisition time was 30 min per mouse. The technique allowed for repetitive examinations of larger animal cohorts to observe the development of metastases.
Key wordsMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Xenograft mouse models Small-animal imaging Noninvasive visualization Iron oxide-based contrast agents
The authors would like to thank Professor Udo Schumacher, Dr. Anka Thies, and Dr. Daniel Benten for providing mouse models with metastases and helpful discussions. Furthermore, Johannes Salamon is acknowledged for technical assistance and image processing.