Intravital microscopy to study the effect of matrix metalloproteinase inhibition on acute myeloid leukemia cell migration in the bone marrow


Hematopoiesis is the process through which all mature blood cells are formed and takes place in the bone marrow (BM). Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer of the myeloid lineage. AML progression causes drastic remodeling of the BM microenvironment, making it no longer supportive of healthy hematopoiesis and leading to clinical cytopenia in patients. Understanding the mechanisms by which AML cells shape the BM to their benefit would lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies. While the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in solid cancer has been extensively studied during decades, its role in the BM and in leukemia progression has only begun to be acknowledged. In this context, intravital microscopy (IVM) gives the unique insight of direct in vivo observation of AML cell behavior in their environment during disease progression and/or upon drug treatments. Here we describe our protocol for visualizing and analyzing MLL-AF9 AML cell dynamics upon systemic inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), combining confocal and two-photon microscopy and focusing on cell migration.

Journal details

Volume 2747
Pages 211-227
Available online
Publication date

Crick labs/facilities

Acknowledged team