A technique that can measure tumor blood flow easily, accurately and economically is required to study tumor angiogenesis and angiogenesis inhibition. Using dye extraction colored microspheres, we measured tumor blood flow in Sato lung carcinoma (SLC) and ascites hepatoma LY80 in rats. Colored microspheres were infused into tumor-bearing rats via a catheter in the left ventricle. After removal of the tumor and the liver, the tissue samples were dissolved, and the microspheres were isolated. Dye was extracted, and the dye concentration was quantified by spectrophotometry. The dye concentration per gram of tumor was compared with that per gram of liver as follows (AU = absorbency units): [AU per gram of tumor] / [AU per gram of liver] X 100 = (%). Tumor blood flow corrected for wet weight was calculated as follows: [blood flow to tumor] = [AU per gram of tumor] X [reference withdrawal rate] / [AU per gram of reference blood]. Tumor blood flow rate was divided by tumor weight to yield ml. min-1g-1. The tumors were also examined histologically, and casts of the tumor vasculature were prepared with silicone rubber. Blood flow 2 weeks after transplantation was equivalent to 1/10 and 1/2 at 1 week in SLC and LY80 tumors, respectively (SLC, P=0.009, n=10; LY80, P=0.05, n=10). These decreases in tumor blood flow were associated with underlying pathological and vascular change. Blood flow in LY80 tumors negatively correlated with tumor volume (P=0.009, n=10). We concluded that the colored microsphere method, initially developed to measure organ blood flow, is also useful for estimating tumor blood flow in rats.
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