Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 10–14 | Cite as

A Real-Time Non-invasive Auto-bioluminescent Urinary Bladder Cancer Xenograft Model

  • Bincy Anu John
  • Tingting Xu
  • Steven Ripp
  • Hwa-Chain Robert Wang
Brief Article



The study was to develop an auto-bioluminescent urinary bladder cancer (UBC) xenograft animal model for pre-clinical research.


The study used a humanized, bacteria-originated lux reporter system consisting of six (luxCDABEfrp) genes to express components required for producing bioluminescent signals in human UBC J82, J82-Ras, and SW780 cells without exogenous substrates. Immune-deficient nude mice were inoculated with Lux-expressing UBC cells to develop auto-bioluminescent xenograft tumors that were monitored by imaging and physical examination.


Lux-expressing auto-bioluminescent J82-Lux, J82-Ras-Lux, and SW780-Lux cell lines were established. Xenograft tumors derived from tumorigenic Lux-expressing auto-bioluminescent J82-Ras-Lux cells allowed a serial, non-invasive, real-time monitoring by imaging of tumor development prior to the presence of palpable tumors in animals.


Using Lux-expressing auto-bioluminescent tumorigenic cells enabled us to monitor the entire course of xenograft tumor development through tumor cell implantation, adaptation, and growth to visible/palpable tumors in animals.

Key words

Auto-bioluminescence Urinary bladder cancer In vivo imaging Mouse model 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [CA177834 to H-CR W] and the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine, Center of Excellence in Livestock Diseases and Human Health [H-CR W]. We are grateful to Ms. M Bailey for the textual editing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics Statement

All animal procedures were approved by the University of Tennessee Animal Care and Use Committee and were in accordance with the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Conflict of Interest

SR is an author of US patent #7,300,792, Lux expression in eukaryotic cells and is a board member of 490 BioTech, Inc. BAJ, TX, and H-CRW declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© World Molecular Imaging Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bincy Anu John
    • 1
  • Tingting Xu
    • 2
  • Steven Ripp
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hwa-Chain Robert Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Environmental BiotechnologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.490 BioTech, Inc.KnoxvilleUSA

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