Imaging prostate cancer invasion with multi-nuclear magnetic resonance methods: The metabolic boyden chamber

Ulrich Pilatus, Ellen Ackerstaff, Dmitri Artemov, Noriko Mori, Robert J. Gillies, Zaver M. Bhujwalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The physiological milieu within solid tumors can influence invasion and metastasis. To determine the impact of the physiological environment and cellular metabolism on cancer cell invasion, it is necessary to measure invasion during well-controlled modulation of the physiological environment. Recently, we demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging can be used to monitor cancer cell invasion into a Matrigel layer [Artemov D, Pilatus U, Chou S, Mori N, Nelson JB, and Bhujwalla ZM (1999). Dynamics of prostate cancer cell invasion studied in vitro by NMR microscopy. Mag Res Med 42, 277- 282.]. Here we have developed an invasion assay ('Metabolic Boyden Chamber') that combines this capability with the properties of our isolated cell perfusion system. Long-term experiments can be performed to determine invasion as well as cellular metabolism-under controlled environmental conditions. To characterize the assay, we performed experiments with prostate cancer cell lines preselected for different invasive characteristics. The results showed invasion into, and degradation of the Matrigel layer, by the highly invasive/metastatic line (MatLyLu), whereas no significant changes were observed for the less invasive/metastatic cell line (DU-145). With this assay, invasion and metabolism was measured dynamically, together with oxygen tensions within the cellular environment and within the Matrigel layer. Such a system can be used to identify physiological and metabolic characteristics that promote invasion, and evaluate therapeutic interventions to inhibit invasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Invasion
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Physiological environment
  • Prostate cancer
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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