Vital-dye-enhanced multimodal imaging of neoplastic progression in a mouse model of oral carcinogenesis
Wu, Jessica Keren
In this longitudinal study, a mouse model of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide chemically induced tongue carcinogenesis was used to assess the ability of optical imaging with exogenous and endogenous contrast to detect neoplastic lesions in a heterogeneous mucosal surface. Widefield autofluorescence and fluorescence images of intact 2-NBDG-stained and proflavine-stained tissues were acquired at multiple time points in the carcinogenesis process. Confocal fluorescence images of transverse fresh tissue slices from the same specimens were acquired to investigate how changes in tissue microarchitecture affect widefield fluorescence images of intact tissue. Widefield images were analyzed to develop and evaluate an algorithm to delineate areas of dysplasia and cancer. A classification algorithm for the presence of neoplasia based on the mean fluorescence intensity of 2-NBDG staining and the standard deviation of the fluorescence intensity of proflavine staining was found to separate moderate dysplasia, severe dysplasia, and cancer from non-neoplastic regions of interest with 91% sensitivity and specificity. Results suggest this combination of noninvasive optical imaging modalities can be used in vivo to discriminate non-neoplastic from neoplastic tissue in this model with the potential to translate this technology to the clinic.