Analyses of Tumor Burden In Vivo and Metastasis Ex Vivo Using Luciferase-Expressing Cancer Cells in an Orthotopic Mouse Model of Neuroblastoma

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1372:61-77. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3148-4_5.


Cancer xenograft mouse models are useful for examining and understanding tumor growth and cancer progression in vivo. With the development of bioluminescent imaging, these parameters can now be monitored noninvasively with relative ease. Herein we describe imaging of luciferase-expressing cancer cells to quantitatively measure tumor burden in vivo and metastases ex vivo. Specifically, we detail the methodology to examine the effect of shRNA-mediated knockdown of a target gene on the growth and spread of neuroblastoma tumors in immune-deficient mice.

Keywords: Luciferase; Metastasis; Neuroblastoma; Orthotopic; Short hairpin RNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genes, Reporter*
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Luciferases / genetics*
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods
  • Mice
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Tumor Burden


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Luciferases