In vivo bioluminescence imaging is becoming a very important tool for the study of a variety of cellular and molecular events or disease processes in living systems. In vivo bioluminescence imaging is based on the detection of light emitted from within an animal. The light is generated as a product of the luciferase-luciferin reaction taking place in a cell. In this study, we implanted mice with tumour cells expressing either a high or a low level of luciferase. In vivo bioluminescence imaging was used to follow tumour progression. Repeated luciferin injection and imaging of high and low luciferase-expressing tumours was performed. While low luciferase-expressing tumours grew similarly to vector controls, growth of the high luciferase-expressing tumours was severely inhibited. The observation that a high level of luciferase expression will inhibit tumour cell growth when an animal is subjected to serial in vivo bioluminescence imaging is potentially an important factor in designing these types of studies.
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