Early neoplastic and metastatic mammary tumours of transgenic mice detected by 5-aminolevulinic acid-stimulated protoporphyrin IX accumulation.

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Animals, Breast-Neoplasms, Mice-Transgenic, Neoplasm-Metastasis, Protoporphyrins, Research-Support-N, I, H, -Extramural, Research-Support-Non-U, S, -Gov't, Research-Support-U, S, -Gov't-Non-P, H, S, Time-Factors

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Br J Cancer 2005 Nov; 93(10):1137-43.


A photodynamic technique for human breast cancer detection founded upon the ability of tumour cells to rapidly accumulate the fluorescent product protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) has been applied to transgenic mouse models of mammary tumorigenesis. A major goal of this investigation was to determine whether mouse mammary tumours are reliable models of human disease in terms of PpIX accumulation, for future mechanistic and therapeutic studies. The haeme substrate 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) (200 mg kg(-1)) was administered to mouse strains that develop mammary tumours of various histological subtypes upon expression of the transgenic oncogenes HRAS, Polyoma Virus middle T antigen, or Simian Virus 40 large T antigen in the mammary gland. Early neoplastic lesions, primary tumours and metastases showed consistent and rapid PpIX accumulation compared to the normal surrounding tissues, as evidenced by red fluorescence (635 nm) when the tumours were directly illuminated with blue light (380-440 nm). Detection of mouse mammary tumours at the stage of ductal carcinoma in situ by red fluorescence emissions suggests that enhanced PpIX synthesis is a good marker for early tumorigenic processes in the mammary gland. We propose the mouse models provide an ideal experimental system for further investigation of the early diagnostic and therapeutic potential of 5-ALA-stimulated PpIX accumulation in human breast cancer patients.