Probing the microenvironment of mammary tumors using multiphoton microscopy

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2006 Apr;11(2):151-63. doi: 10.1007/s10911-006-9021-5.


Advances in optical imaging technologies that allow the subcellular resolution of undissected tissue have begun to offer new clues into the biology of development and disease. For cancer, such advances mean that the primary tumor is no longer a black box and that the disease can be studied throughout the metastatic cascade and not just as an endpoint. In this review we examine the advances in multiphoton imaging technology that have been used to define the microenvironment and its role in delineating the invasion and intravasation steps of metastasis inside living mammary tumors. Results show that the tumor microenvironment is a dynamic place where interactions between tumor cells, macrophages, blood vessels, and extracellular matrix fibers define the metastatic phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / analysis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / chemistry
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton / methods*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Transplantation / pathology
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology
  • Paracrine Communication*
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • Green Fluorescent Proteins