Scanning Electron Microscopy


53 Lewis lung carcinomas implanted subcutaneously into C57BL/6-mice were examined. The animals were killed at various stages of tumor growth (TG) and prepared for histology and for scanning electron microscopy (critical-point-dried tissue; vascular corrosion casts). Prior to casting animals were rinsed using different perfusion pressures. Casting was done by manual injection of the resin, whereby different influx-rates were applied resulting in low, medium and high pressure preparations.

We discern 3 phases of tumor angiogenesis (TA) occurring during 4 stages of TG among which vasodilation establishes the first reaction of the host vascular system to a growing tumor implant. During this stage 1 of TG, tumor nidation, nearby sinusoidal dilated host capillaries form globular outgrowings (phase 1 of TA) Subsequently radially arranged sprouts, which preferentially arise from venous host vessels, grow into the centre of the implant (phase 2 of TA). Stage 2 of TG, early tumor growth, is characterized by necrosis of the central tumor tissue and the development of a central avascular cavity. Thus the tumor vascular system is organized like a hollow sphere with a central cavity and a peripheral vascular "envelope" with large vessels embracing the tumor and centrifugally growing vascular sprouts, which arise from the venous part of the vascular "envelope" and invade the surrounding host tissue (phase 3 of TA). During stage 3 of TG, late tumor growth, many vessels of the basket-like vascular "envelope" obliterate. In stage 4 of TG, prefinal phase, the peripheral vascular density decreases continuously. Thus vascular sprouting and proliferation of viable tumor cells is confined to basal regions of the tumor.

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