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Osteosarcoma Cells Enhance Angiogenesis Visualized by Color-Coded Imaging in the In Vivo Gelfoam® Assay


  • This article is dedicated to the memory of A.R. Moossa, M.D.
  • None of the authors have a conflict of interest in regard to this study.


We previously described a color-coded imaging model that can quantify the length of nascent blood vessels using Gelfoam® implanted in nestin-driven green fluorescent protein (ND-GFP) nude mice. In ND-GFP mice, nascent blood vessels are labeled with GFP. We report here that osteosarcoma cells promote angiogenesis in the Gelfoam® angiogenesis assay in ND-GFP mice. Gelfoam® was initially transplanted subcutaneously in the flank of transgenic ND-GFP nude mice. Seven days after transplantation of Gelfoam®, skin flaps were made and human 143B osteosarcoma cells expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the nucleus and red fluorescent protein (RFP) in cytoplasm were injected into the transplanted Gelfoam®. The control-group mice had only implanted Gelfoam®. Skin flaps were made at days 14, 21, and 28 after transplantation of the Gelfoam® to allow imaging of vascularization in the Gelfoam® using a variable-magnification small animal imaging system and confocal fluorescence microscopy. ND-GFP expressing nascent blood vessels penetrated and spread into the Gelfoam® in a time-dependent manner in both control and osteosarcoma-implanted mice. ND-GFP expressing blood vessels in the Gelfoam® of the osteosarcoma-implanted mice were associated with the cancer cells and larger and longer than in the Gelfoam®-only implanted mice (P < 0.01). The results presented in this report demonstrate strong angiogenesis induction by osteosarcoma cells and suggest this process is a potential therapeutic target for this disease. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 1490–1494, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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