, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 183-196
Date: 21 May 2011

In Vivo Imaging of Lymph Node Migration of MNP- and 111 In-Labeled Dendritic Cells in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Breast Cancer (MMTV-Ras )

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The authors present a protocol for the in vivo evaluation, using different imaging techniques, of lymph node (LN) homing of tumor-specific dendritic cells (DCs) in a murine breast cancer model.


Bone marrow DCs were labeled with paramagnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) or 111In-oxine. Antigen loading was performed using tumor lysate. Mature DCs were injected into the footpads of transgenic tumor-bearing mice (MMTV-Ras) and DC migration was tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Ex vivo analyses were performed to validate the imaging data.


DC labeling, both with MNPs and with 111In-oxine, did not affect DC phenotype or functionality. MRI and SPECT allowed the detection of iron and 111In in both axillary and popliteal LNs. Immunohistochemistry and γ-counting revealed the presence of DCs in LNs.


MRI and SPECT imaging, by allowing in vivo dynamic monitoring of DC migration, could further the development and optimization of efficient anti-cancer vaccines.