Imaging of bioluminescent LNCaP-luc-M6 tumors: a new animal model for the study of metastatic human prostate cancer

Prostate. 2004 May 15;59(3):292-303. doi: 10.1002/pros.20003.


Background: Animal experiments examining hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer using the human LNCaP cell line have been limited to endpoint analyses. To permit longitudinal studies, we generated a luciferase-expressing cell line and used bioluminescent imaging (BLI) to non-invasively monitor the in vivo growth of primary LNCaP tumors and metastasis.

Methods: LNCaP.FGC cells were transfected to constitutively express firefly luciferase. LNCaP-luc-M6 cells were tested for bioluminescent signal intensity and hormone responsiveness in vitro. The cells were implanted in subcutaneous and orthotopic sites in SCID-bg mice and imaged over time.

Results: The LNCaP-luc-M6 cells formed subcutaneous and orthotopic tumors in SCID-bg mice, and nearly all tumor-bearing animals developed pulmonary metastases. Early detection and temporal growth of primary tumors and metastatic lesions was successfully monitored by BLI.

Conclusions: The LNCaP-luc-M6 cell line is a bioluminescent, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer cell line applicable for BLI studies to non-invasively monitor subcutaneous and orthotopic prostate tumor growth and metastasis in vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Luciferases / biosynthesis*
  • Luciferases / genetics*
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Plasmids
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Transfection
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Luciferases