Multimodal imaging of growth and rapamycin-induced regression of colonic adenomas in apc mutation-dependent mouse

Transl Oncol. 2012 Oct;5(5):313-20. doi: 10.1593/tlo.12226. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


We demonstrate that rapamycin can induce regression of adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) mutation-dependent colonic adenomas in genetically engineered mice (CPC;Apc). An endoscope was used to visualize adenomas in CPC;Apc mice weekly for 10 weeks. The lesion surface areas were measured using a distance gauge and digitally generated grid. Coronal scans were performed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to localize adenomas, and tumor volumes were measured from regions of interest drawn on consecutive axial scans. Rapamycin (5 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally daily for 5 weeks. Endoscopy and MRI were performed weekly to monitor adenoma regression. Caliper measurements and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed on adenomas postmortem. Dimensions from n = 30 adenomas in n = 7 animals were measured. Adenoma surface areas on endoscopy correlated with volumes on MRI and with postmortem caliper measurements, R(2) = 0.84 and R(2) = 0.81, respectively. The mean adenoma doubling times on endoscopy and MRI were 0.95 ± 0.14 and 1.21 ± 0.16 weeks, respectively. The minimum detectable adenoma surface area and volume on endoscopy and MRI was 0.69 mm(2) and 1.76 mm(3), respectively. On histology, the rapamycin-treated adenomas showed limited regions of dysplasia. Rapamycin therapy resulted in much lower mammalian target of rapamycin signaling and cell proliferation. Lower expression of phospho-S6 and reduced numbers of Ki67-positive cells were seen on IHC compared to vehicle-treated lesions. Endoscopy can be validated by MRI as a robust methodology for quantitative monitoring of therapy, representing a promising approach for future preclinical efforts to assess utility of novel colorectal cancer prevention strategies.