ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-161115-1
Testing the Vascular Invasive Ability of Cancer Cells in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)
Berens, E.B., Sharif, G.M., Wellstein, A., Glasgow, E.
Date: 2016
Source: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE   (117): (Journal)
Registered Authors: Glasgow, Eric
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasms
  • Yolk Sac
  • Zebrafish*
PubMed: 27842376 Full text @ J. Vis. Exp.
Cancer cell vascular invasion and extravasation is a hallmark of metastatic progression. Traditional in vitro models of cancer cell invasion of endothelia typically lack the fluid dynamics that invading cells are otherwise exposed to in vivo. However, in vivo systems such as mouse models, though more physiologically relevant, require longer experimental timescales and present unique challenges associated with monitoring and data analysis. Here we describe a zebrafish assay that seeks to bridge this technical gap by allowing for the rapid assessment of cancer cell vascular invasion and extravasation. The approach involves injecting fluorescent cancer cells into the precardiac sinus of transparent 2-day old zebrafish embryos whose vasculature is marked by a contrasting fluorescent reporter. Following injection, the cancer cells must survive in circulation and subsequently extravasate from vessels into tissues in the caudal region of the embryo. Extravasated cancer cells are efficiently identified and scored in live embryos via fluorescence imaging at a fixed timepoint. This technique can be modified to study intravasation and/or competition amongst a heterogeneous mixture of cancer cells by changing the injection site to the yolk sac. Together, these methods can evaluate a hallmark behavior of cancer cells and help uncover mechanisms indicative of malignant progression to the metastatic phenotype.