Over the past decade, in vivo bioluminescent imaging has emerged as a non-invasive and sensitive tool for studying ongoing biological processes within living organisms (Contag et al., 1997; Contag et al., 1998). Based on the detection and quantitation of the photons produced by the oxidation of luciferin by luciferase enzymes (Harvey, 1927), this technique has proved to be particularly useful in analyzing cancerous cells and monitoring tumor growth (Edinger et al., 1999; Sweeney et al., 1999; Vidal et al., 2015), providing a cost-effective insight into how the disease progresses in vivo, without the need of serial sacrifice of animals. This protocol describes in detail the procedure of obtaining luciferase-tagged tumors in immunocompromised mice that can be studied by bioluminescent imaging through the use of an IVIS Spectrum imager.
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