Near Infrared Imaging of EGFR of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Mice Administered Arsenic Trioxide

Lingbo Zhang, Kezheng Wang, Falin Zhao, Weiping Hu, Junjie Chen, Gregory M. Lanza, Baozhong Shen, Bin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The effectiveness of near-infrared imaging (NIR) interrogation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression as a sensitive biomarker of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) response to arsenic trioxide therapy was studied in mice. Material and Methods: A431 OSCC in vitro were exposed to 0 μM, 0.5 μM, 2.5 μM, or 5 μM of As2O3 for 0 h, 24 h, 48 h and 72 h. Confocal microscopy and flow cytometry confirmed EGFR expression and demonstrated a sensitivity dose-related signal decline with As2O3 treatment. Next, mice with pharynx-implanted A431 cells received As2O3 i.p. every 48 h at 0.0, 0.5, 2.5, or 5 mg/kg/day (n = 6/group) from day 0 to 10. An intravenous NIR probe, EGF-Cy5.5, was injected at baseline and on days 4, 8, and 12 for dynamic NIR imaging. Tumor volume and body weights were measured three times weekly. Results: In vitro, A431 EGFR expression was well appreciated in the controls and decreased (p<0.05) with increasing As2O3 dose and treatment duration. In vivo EGFR NIR tumor signal intensity decreased (p<0.05) in As2O3 treated groups versus controls from days 4 to 12, consistent with increasing dosage. Tumor volume diminished in a dose-related manner while body weight was unaffected. Immunohistochemical staining of excised tumors confirmed that EGFR expression was reduced by As2O3 treatment in a dose responsive pattern. Conclusion: This study demonstrates for the first time that OSCC can be interrogated in vivo by NIR molecular imaging of the EGFR and that this biomarker is effective for the longitudinal assessment of OSCC response to As2O3 treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere46255
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 28 2012


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