In vivo measurement of epidermal thickness changes associated with tumor promotion in murine models

Kevin G. Phillips, Ravikant Samatham, Niloy Choudhury, James C. Gladish, Philippe Thuillier, Steven L. Jacques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The characterization of tissue morphology in murine models of pathogenesis has traditionally been carried out by excision of affected tissues with subsequent immunohistological examination. Excision-based histology provides a limited two-dimensional presentation of tissue morphology at the cost of halting disease progression at a single time point and sacrifice of the animal. We investigate the use of noninvasive reflectance mode confocal scanning laser microscopy (rCSLM) as an alternative tool to biopsy in documenting epidermal hyperplasia in murine models exposed to the tumor promoter 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). An automated technique utilizing average axial rCSLM reflectance profiles is used to extract epidermal thickness values from rCSLM data cubes. In comparisons to epidermal thicknesses determined from hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained tissue sections, we find no significant correlation to rCSLM-derived thickness values. This results from method-specific artifacts: physical alterations of tissue during H&E preparation in standard histology and specimen-induced abberations in rCSLM imaging. Despite their disagreement, both histology and rCSLM methods reliably measure statistically significant thickness changes in response to TPA exposure. Our results demonstrate that in vivo rCSLM imaging provides epithelial biologists an accurate noninvasive means to monitor cutaneous pathogenesis

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041514
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Cancer
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Hyperplasia
  • Image segmentation
  • Noninvasive imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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