An orthotopic floor-of-mouth model for locoregional growth and spread of human squamous cell carcinoma

J Oral Pathol Med. 2007 Jul;36(6):363-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2007.00549.x.


The molecular investigation of head and neck cancer targets requires the utilization and optimization of established animal models to characterize the effects of gene transcription and protein expression on invasion and metastasis. Floor-of-the-mouth murine models have been developed to study tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis of murine squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells in immunocompetent mice and invasion and metastasis of human SCC cells in nude mice. However, there are tumor cell lines that do not produce tumors in mice, using standard techniques, thus reducing the utility of the model to study specific genetic or treatment conditions. Furthermore, these techniques require large tumor volumes raising the possibility of airway compromise. In this report, we detail significant modifications to the orthotopic floor-of-mouth murine model for human SCC to facilitate predictable growth of a large panel of University of Michigan SCC cell lines. Furthermore, we describe the use of bioluminescence and micro-computed tomography to monitor tumor growth and bony invasion.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary
  • Cattle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Collagen
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Laminin
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxilla / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microcomputers
  • Mouth Floor / diagnostic imaging
  • Mouth Floor / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Proteoglycans
  • RANK Ligand / genetics
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Burden


  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • RANK Ligand
  • matrigel
  • Collagen