Second harmonic properties of tumor collagen: determining the structural relationship between reactive stroma and healthy stroma

Opt Express. 2008 Feb 4;16(3):1846-59. doi: 10.1364/oe.16.001846.


We utilize the polarization and directionality of light emitted by fibrillar collagen via second harmonic generation to determine structural relationships between collagen in mouse mammary tumor models and the healthy mammary fat pad. In spite of the aberrations in collagen production and degradation that are the hallmarks of tumor stroma, we find that the characteristic angle of SHG scatterers within collagen fibrils, and the spatial extent over which they are appropriately ordered for SHG production, are the same in tumor and healthy collagen. This suggests that the SHGproducing subpopulation of collagen is unaffected by the altered collagen synthesis of the tumor stroma, and protected from its aberrant degradative environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Collagen / ultrastructure*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / diagnosis*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Polarization / methods*
  • Stromal Cells / pathology*


  • Collagen