In vivo microscopy of hepatic metastases: Dynamic observation of tumor cell invasion and interaction with Kupffer cells



In vivo microscopy was used in the study of the biological behavior of tumor cells and of the activity of Kupffer cells in hepatic tumors in situ. Three tumor models, Friend erythroleukemia inoculated into Dilute Brown Aguti (DBA)/2 mice, murine colon adenocarcinoma (CT)-26 in Bagg Albino inbred albino (BALB)/c mice, and mammary cancer 13762 NF in Fischer rats, were investigated. Tumor cells showed a strong tendency to adhere to the sinusoidal endothelium, most frequently in the sinusoids near the tumors. Mechanical trapping of tumor cells in the narrow portion of hepatic sinusoids, a phenomenon suggested by previous investigators as a predominant pattern for tumor cells to arrest in the liver, was not confirmed. Our study documented that in tumor-bearing livers, as compared with normal control livers, the population size and the phagocytic capacity of Kupffer cells are increased in nontumorous areas but are significantly decreased inside the tumors. In vivo microscopic images showed that Kupffer cells are not only attracted to tumor cells in the hepatic circulation but also have the ability to phagocytose those tumor cells. In vivo microscopy has been shown to be a useful tool for dynamic studies in tumor biology, pathology, and pharmacology. (HEPATOLOGY 1995;21:487–494.)