In vivo and ex vivo approaches to study ovarian cancer metastatic colonization of milky spot structures in peritoneal adipose

Venkatesh Krishnan, Robert Clark, Marina Chekmareva, Amy Johnson, Sophia George, Patricia Shaw, Victoria Seewaldt, Carrie Rinker-Schaeffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC), the cause of widespread peritoneal metastases, continues to have an extremely poor prognosis; fewer than 30% of women are alive 5 years after diagnosis. The omentum is a preferred site of HGSC metastasis formation. Despite the clinical importance of this microenvironment, the contribution of omental adipose tissue to ovarian cancer progression remains understudied. Omental adipose is unusual in that it contains structures known as milky spots, which are comprised of B, T, and NK cells, macrophages, and progenitor cells surrounding dense nests of vasculature. Milky spots play a key role in the physiologic functions of the omentum, which are required for peritoneal homeostasis. We have shown that milky spots also promote ovarian cancer metastatic colonization of peritoneal adipose, a key step in the development of peritoneal metastases. Here we describe the approaches we developed to evaluate and quantify milky spots in peritoneal adipose and study their functional contribution to ovarian cancer cell metastatic colonization of omental tissues both in vivo and ex vivo. These approaches are generalizable to additional mouse models and cell lines, thus enabling the study of ovarian cancer metastasis formation from initial localization of cells to milky spot structures to the development of widespread peritoneal metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52721
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number104
StatePublished - Oct 14 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Experimental metastasis
  • Issue 104
  • Medicine
  • Metastatic colonization
  • Milky spots
  • Omentum
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Peritoneal adipose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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