Devkumar Mustafi1, Urszula Dougherty2, Marc Bissonnette2, Xiaobing Fan3, Gregory S. Karczmar3, Erica Markiewicz3, Marta Zamora3
1Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; 2Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; 3Radiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
We have developed a high-resolution in vivo MRI method to assess the state of colitis and to facilitate the early detection of colitis-associated colorectal tumors in mice. Using both high-resolution T1/T2-weighted MR images and dynamic Gd-DTPA contrast-enhanced MRI studies of control, colitis, colorectal tumor, and colitis-to-early colorectal tumor-bearing mice, we have demonstrated that early colorectal tumors can be detected and that the neoplastic transformation stage of chronic colitis can be distinguished from early colitis-associated cancers. In vitro 2-D histological studies were also performed for characterizing colitis and monitoring its progression from colitis to cancer in a clinically relevant model.