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 COHR: Center for Oral Health Research | Oral Histology & Digital Imaging Core | Oral Cancer Research

Oral Preclinical Research Facility

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OPRF Services now on SPARC (download pdf announcement)SPARC Instructions (pdf)

The mission of the Oral Preclinical Research Facility is to 1) help investigators conducting in vivo studies on oral diseases; 2) provide processing and staining of oral tissue samples; and 3) provide pathological diagnosis of disease states in animal models. We offer several animal models, histological services, an oral cancer TMA, frozen oral cancer tissues, and pathological scoring.

Animal Models Available:

  • Xenograft tumor model
    This tumor model is created by injection of human head and neck cancer cell lines into the floor of the mouth or flanks of athymic nude mice
  • 4NQO oral cancer model
    Mice develop oral neoplasia or esophageal tumors with prolonged exposure to 4-nitroquinoline-1 oxide (4NQO)-containing drinking water. In addition to allowing investigators to study inflammatory cytokine responses,the 4NQO model allows investigators to study tumorogenesis and progression in genetically altered mouse strains.
  • Periodontitis model
    A mouse model of periodontitis is generated by injecting LPS from an oral pathogen into the periodontium leading to loss of alveolar bone over time.

Services available to researchers include:
SubQ, IP, or floor-of-mouth injection of cell lines
Animal health monitoring
4NQO delivery
Animal irridation
Oral injection of LPS
Imaging of tumor progression (in vivo)
Assistance with dissection and tissue collection

Animal Service Request Form (fillable pdf)

Murine Oral Cancer Tissue Array and Tumor Samples:
The OPRF has generated tissue microarrays from various stages of oral cancer lesions in mice exposed to 4NQO.  All samples have been scored by a pathologist and the complete array contains a 54 tissue samples in a 6x9 arrangement including 18 invasive squamous cell carcinomas, 24 epithelial hyperplasia or dysplasia lesions, and 12 control tissues.  In addition, portions of many of these tumors were preserved in RNAlater solution to allow isolation of RNA or protein for downstream analyses. These tissues are available to researchers upon request. 

Oral Cancer Tissue/Array Request Form

Histology Services:
The Oral Preclinical Research Facility also offers a wide variety of histology services including sample processing, embedding, sectioning and staining.  Highly trained staff are available for consulation regarding sample preparation and processing prior to submission and to assist researchers with selection of appropriate methods and histological stains.  The OPRF also offers immunhistological staining of tissue sections to customers.  Samples can be submitted to Facility staff along with the histology service request form (below).  Plastic embedding and sectioning of mineralized tissues are also available through the Mineralized Tissue Facility.

Services available include:
Paraffin processing and embedding
Generation of paraffin sections
Generation of frozen tissue sections
H&E staining
Specialized histological stains
Assistance with sample isolation/dissection
Immunohistochemical staining

Histology Service Request Form (fillable pdf)

Pathological Scoring Services:
Histological specimens can be submitted to the Facility for pathological scoring by a trained pathologist. For Pathological scoring requests, please submit request using the histology service request form above.

Contact Information:

James Cray, Jr PhD
Assistant Professor

Lixia Zhang, PhD
Research Specialist
BSB 129