Fluctuations in tumor blood flow are common and attributed to factors such as vasomotion or local vascular structure, yet, because vessel structure and physiology are host-derived, animal strain of tumor propagation may further determine blood flow characteristics. In the present report, baseline and stress-altered tumor hemodynamics as a function of murine strain were studied using radiation-induced fibrosacomas (RIF) grown in C3H or nude mice. Fluctuations in tumor blood flow during one hour of baseline monitoring or during vascular stress induced by photodynamic therapy (PDT) were measured by diffuse correlation spectroscopy. Baseline monitoring revealed fluctuating tumor blood flow highly correlated with heart rate and with similar median periods (i.e., ~9 and 14 min in C3H and nudes, respectively). However, tumor blood flow in C3H animals was more sensitive to physiologic or stress-induced perturbations. Specifically, PDT-induced vascular insults produced greater decreases in blood flow in the tumors of C3H versus nude mice; similarly, during baseline monitoring, fluctuations in blood flow were more regular and more prevalent within the tumors of C3H mice versus nude mice; finally, the vasoconstrictor L-NNA reduced tumor blood flow in C3H mice but did not affect tumor blood flow in nudes. Underlying differences in vascular structure, such as smaller tumor blood vessels in C3H versus nude animals, may contribute to strain-dependent variation in vascular function. These data thus identify clear effects of mouse strain on tumor hemodynamics with consequences to PDT and potentially other vascular-mediated therapies.
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