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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (68)
- Pflügers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology
- Neurosurgical Focus
- Bioconjugate Chemistry
- Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- Nano Letters
- NMR in Biomedicine
- Drug Discovery Today
- Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- Bioconjugate Chemistry
- Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- Bioconjugate Chemistry
- NMR in Biomedicine
- NMR in Biomedicine
- FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
- Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
- Nanomedicine (London, England)
- Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging : TMRI
- Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging : JMRI
- Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
- Neurobiology of Disease
- Bioconjugate Chemistry
- Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
- Journal of Nuclear Medicine : Official Publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
- Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Accounts of Chemical Research
- Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
- NMR in Biomedicine
- European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics : Official Journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Für Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik E.V
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- Magma (New York, N.Y.)
- Bioconjugate Chemistry
- Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
- Journal of Biomechanics
- Nano Letters
- Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
- NMR in Biomedicine
- Chemical Communications (Cambridge, England)
- Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
- Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance : Official Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
- Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology
- Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
- Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
- NMR in Biomedicine
- Current Cardiovascular Imaging Reports
- NMR in Biomedicine
- Magma (New York, N.Y.)
- Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging : JMRI
Articles by Gustav J. Strijkers in JoVE
Implantation of a Carotid Cuff for Triggering Shear-stress Induced Atherosclerosis in Mice
Michael T. Kuhlmann1, Simon Cuhlmann2,3, Irmgard Hoppe1, Rob Krams3, Paul C. Evans2, Gustav J. Strijkers4, Klaas Nicolay4, Sven Hermann1, Michael Schäfers1
1European Institute for Molecular Imaging, Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster, 2British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Sciences Unit, Imperial College London, 3Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, 4Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology
The constricting cuff presented in this article is designed to induce atherosclerosis in the murine common carotid artery. Due to the conical shape of its inner lumen the implanted cuff generates well-defined regions of low, high and oscillatory shear stress triggering the development of atherosclerotic lesions of different inflammatory phenotypes.
Other articles by Gustav J. Strijkers on PubMed
An MR-compatible Device for the in Situ Assessment of Isometric Contractile Performance of Mouse Hind-limb Ankle Flexors
Pflügers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology. Dec, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14530976
The goal of the present study was to develop and evaluate an isometric dynamometer for measuring mouse ankle flexor torque after electric stimulation of the nerve. The dynamometer was to be used within an magnetic resonance (MR) apparatus and should require minimal surgical intervention. To quantify the effect of the magnetic field on contractile parameters, measurements were performed both outside and inside the MR apparatus. The effect of magnetic field gradient switching that accompanies rapid MR scanning was tested also. The set-up required no surgical intervention except for chronic implantation of an electrode. The dynamometer has a high mechanical frequency response (270 Hz). Measured muscle strengths were identical outside and inside the MR scanner. However, during fast magnetic field gradient switching, the variability increased and the measured strength decreased slightly (7%). The noise level of the dynamometer (0.02-0.03 N.mm) was low compared with the strength of the dorsal flexors (2 N.mm). Fast gradient switching increased the noise level (0.07 N.mm). The dynamometer had no observable adverse effects on the quality of the MR images of the mouse hind limb. We conclude that the dynamometer enables accurate measurements of mechanical muscle performance during exercise protocols within an MR apparatus under physiological conditions.
The Use of High-resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Monitoring Interbody Fusion and Bioabsorbable Cages: an Ex Vivo Pilot Study
Neurosurgical Focus. Mar, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15198491
Interbody fusion is a gradual process of graft resorption and tissue formation, ideally resulting in a bone bridge between two adjacent vertebral bodies. Initially, fibrous tissue and cartilage are formed, which subsequently are replaced by bone through the process of endochondral ossification. When cages and/or their contents are made of resorbable polymers like lactic or glycolic acids, there is a simultaneous process of implant degradation, which is eventually accompanied by reactions in the surrounding tissues. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of highresolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for monitoring tissue differentiation, spinal fusion, cage degradation, and eventually tissue reactions as a function of time.
Bioconjugate Chemistry. Jul-Aug, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15264867
Pegylated paramagnetic and fluorescent immunoliposomes were designed to enable the parallel detection of the induced expression of molecular markers on endothelial cells with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence microscopy. MRI is capable of three-dimensional noninvasive imaging of opaque tissues at near cellular resolution, while fluorescence microscopy can be used to investigate processes at the subcellular level. As a model for the expression of a molecular marker, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were treated with the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) to upregulate the expression of the adhesion molecule E-selectin/CD62E. E-selectin-expressing HUVEC were incubated with pegylated paramagnetic fluorescently labeled liposomes carrying anti-E-selectin monoclonal antibody as a targeting ligand. Both MRI and fluorescence microscopy revealed the specific association of the liposomal MR contrast agent with stimulated HUVEC. This study suggests that this newly developed system may serve as a useful diagnostic tool to investigate pathological processes in vivo with MRI.
Determination of Mouse Skeletal Muscle Architecture Using Three-dimensional Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Jun, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15906281
Muscle architecture is the main determinant of the mechanical behavior of skeletal muscles. This study explored the feasibility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and fiber tracking to noninvasively determine the in vivo three-dimensional (3D) architecture of skeletal muscle in mouse hind leg. In six mice, the hindlimb was imaged with a diffusion-weighted (DW) 3D fast spin-echo (FSE) sequence followed by the acquisition of an exercise-induced, T(2)-enhanced data set. The data showed the expected fiber organization, from which the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA), fiber length, and pennation angle for the tibialis anterior (TA) were obtained. The values of these parameters ranged from 5.4-9.1 mm(2), 5.8-7.8 mm, and 21-24 degrees , respectively, which is in agreement with values obtained previously with the use of invasive methods. This study shows that 3D DT acquisition and fiber tracking is feasible for the skeletal muscle of mice, and thus enables the quantitative determination of muscle architecture.
MR Molecular Imaging and Fluorescence Microscopy for Identification of Activated Tumor Endothelium Using a Bimodal Lipidic Nanoparticle
FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16204353
In oncological research, there is a great need for imaging techniques that specifically identify angiogenic blood vessels in tumors on the basis of differences in the expression level of biomolecular markers. In the angiogenic cascade, different cell surface receptors, including the alphavbeta3-integrin, are strongly expressed on activated endothelial cells. In the present study, we aimed to image angiogenesis by detecting the expression of alphavbeta3 in tumor bearing mice with a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence microscopy. To that end, we prepared MR-detectable and fluorescent liposomes, which carry approximately 700 alphavbeta3-specific RGD peptides per liposome. RGD competition experiments and RAD-conjugated liposomes were used as controls for specificity. In vivo, both RAD liposomes and RGD liposomes gave rise to signal increase on T1-weighted MR images. It was established by the use of ex vivo fluorescence microscopy that RGD liposomes and RAD liposomes accumulated in the tumor by different mechanisms. RGD liposomes were specifically associated with activated tumor endothelium, while RAD liposomes were located in the extravascular compartment. This study demonstrates that MR molecular imaging of angiogenesis is feasible by using a targeted contrast agent specific for the alphavbeta3-integrin, and that the multimodality imaging approach gave insight into the exact mechanism of accumulation in the tumor.
Nano Letters. Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16402777
MRI detectable and targeted quantum dots were developed. To that aim, quantum dots were coated with paramagnetic and pegylated lipids, which resulted in a relaxivity, r(1), of nearly 2000 mM(-1)s(-1) per quantum dot. The quantum dots were functionalized by covalently linking alphavbeta3-specific RGD peptides, and the specificity was assessed and confirmed on cultured endothelial cells. The bimodal character, the high relaxivity, and the specificity of this nanoparticulate probe make it an excellent contrast agent for molecular imaging purposes.
NMR in Biomedicine. Feb, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16450332
In the field of MR imaging and especially in the emerging field of cellular and molecular MR imaging, flexible strategies to synthesize contrast agents that can be manipulated in terms of size and composition and that can be easily conjugated with targeting ligands are required. Furthermore, the relaxivity of the contrast agents, especially for molecular imaging applications, should be very high to deal with the low sensitivity of MRI. Lipid-based nanoparticles, such as liposomes or micelles, have been used extensively in recent decades as drug carrier vehicles. A relatively new and promising application of lipidic nanoparticles is their use as multimodal MR contrast agents. Lipids are amphiphilic molecules with both a hydrophobic and a hydrophilic part, which spontaneously assemble into aggregates in an aqueous environment. In these aggregates, the amphiphiles are arranged such that the hydrophobic parts cluster together and the hydrophilic parts face the water. In the low concentration regime, a wide variety of structures can be formed, ranging from spherical micelles to disks or liposomes. Furthermore, a monolayer of lipids can serve as a shell to enclose a hydrophobic core. Hydrophobic iron oxide particles, quantum dots or perfluorocarbon emulsions can be solubilized using this approach. MR-detectable and fluorescent amphiphilic molecules can easily be incorporated in lipidic nanoparticles. Furthermore, targeting ligands can be conjugated to lipidic particles by incorporating lipids with a functional moiety to allow a specific interaction with molecular markers and to achieve accumulation of the particles at disease sites. In this review, an overview of different lipidic nanoparticles for use in MRI is given, with the main emphasis on Gd-based contrast agents. The mechanisms of particle formation, conjugation strategies and applications in the field of contrast-enhanced, cellular and molecular MRI are discussed.
Drug Discovery Today. Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16478692
Multiple sclerosis is a serious neurological disease that affects 1 in 1000 young adults in Europe and the USA. The development of an effective therapy for this enigmatic disease is plagued by the failure of many treatments to reproduce in patients the promising effects observed in animal models. This review describes a new preclinical model in a non-human primate that might help to bridge the gap between currently used animal models and the patients.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. May, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16598732
Conventional high-resolution MRI is capable of detecting lipid-rich atherosclerotic plaques in both human atherosclerosis and animal models of atherosclerosis. In this study we induced neointimal lesions in ApoE-KO mice by placing a constrictive collar around the right carotid artery. The model was imaged with conventional multispectral MRI, and the thickened wall could not be distinguished from surrounding tissue. We then tested paramagnetic liposomes (mean size=90 nm) for their ability to improve MRI visualization of induced thickening, using Gd-DTPA as a control. T1-weighted (T1-w), black-blood MRI of the neck area of the mice was performed before and 15 min, 45 min, and 24 hr after intravenous injection of either paramagnetic liposomes or Gd-DTPA. The collared vessel wall of mice that were injected with liposomes showed a pronounced signal enhancement of approximately 100% immediately after injection, which was sustained largely until 24 hr postinjection. In contrast, the vessel wall of all controls (left carotid artery and animals injected with Gd-DTPA) did not show significant contrast enhancement at those time points. This study demonstrates that intimal thickening in ApoE-KO mice can be effectively detected by contrast-enhanced (CE)-MRI upon injection of paramagnetic liposomes.
Bioconjugate Chemistry. May-Jun, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16704213
Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, plays an important role in the etiology of a variety of diseases, including cancer and myocardial infarction. Visualization of apoptosis would allow both early detection of therapy efficiency and evaluation of disease progression. To that aim, we synthesized two types of lipid-based bimodal contrast agents that enable the detection of apoptotic cells with both MRI and optical techniques. MR contrast was provided either by entrapment of iron oxide particles within pegylated micelles or by incorporation of Gd-DTPA-bis(stearylamide) (Gd-DTPA-BSA) lipids within the lipid bilayer of pegylated liposomes. The resulting contrast agents were approximately 10 and 100 nm in diameter, respectively. Additional fluorescent lipids were incorporated in the lipid (bi)layer of the contrast agents to allow parallel detection with optical methods. Multiple human recombinant annexin A5 molecules were covalently coupled to introduce specificity for apoptotic cells. Both annexin A5-conjugated contrast agents were shown to significantly increase the relaxation rates of apoptotic cell pellets compared to untreated control cells and apoptotic cells that were treated with nonfunctionalized nanoparticles. Increased relaxation rates were confirmed to originate from association of the contrast agents to apoptotic cells by confocal microscopy. The targeted nanoparticles presented in this study, which differ both in size and in magnetic properties, may have applications for the in vivo detection of apoptosis.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16826605
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is frequently applied to characterize the microscopic geometrical properties of tissue. To establish whether and how diffusion MRI responds to transient ischemia of skeletal muscle, we studied the effects of ischemia and reperfusion using DTI and T2-weighted MRI before and during ischemia and up to 24 hr after reperfusion. Ischemia was induced by 50 min of hindlimb occlusion with or without dorsal flexor stimulation. During ischemia the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) tended to decrease (up to 15%), whereas the fractional anisotropy (FA) and T2 showed a varied response depending on the protocol and muscle type. During reperfusion the ADC and T2 initially increased and subsequently renormalized for the occlusion protocol. For the occlusion plus stimulation (OS) protocol, the FA was decreased by 13% and the ADC and T2 were increased by 20% and 57%, respectively, after 24 hr in the stimulated muscle complex. In the latter tissue the three DTI eigenvalues gradually increased upon reperfusion. The smallest eigenvalue (lambda3) showed the largest relative increase. Changes in DTI indices in the reperfusion phases followed a similar time course as the changes in T2. The changes in MR indices after 24 hr correlated with the tissue damage quantified with histology. The highest correlation was observed for lambda3 (R2 = 0.81). This study shows that DTI can be used to assess ischemia-induced damage to skeletal muscle.
Annexin A5-conjugated Quantum Dots with a Paramagnetic Lipidic Coating for the Multimodal Detection of Apoptotic Cells
Bioconjugate Chemistry. Jul-Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16848390
Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, plays an important role in the etiology of a variety of diseases, including cancer. Visualization of apoptosis would allow both early detection of therapy efficiency and evaluation of disease progression. To that aim we developed a novel annexin A5-conjugated bimodal nanoparticle. The nanoparticle is composed of a quantum dot that is encapsulated in a paramagnetic micelle to enable its use both for optical imaging and MRI. Multiple recombinant human annexin A5 protein molecules were covalently coupled to the nanoparticle for targeting. In this study the specificity of the annexin A5-conjugated nanoparticles for apoptotic cells was demonstrated both with fluorescence microscopy and MRI, which confirms its potential for the detection of apoptosis with both imaging modalities in vivo.
NMR in Biomedicine. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17075956
MR is a powerful technique for studying the biomechanical and functional properties of skeletal muscle in vivo in health and disease. This review focuses on 31P, 1H and 13C MR spectroscopy for assessment of the dynamics of muscle metabolism and on dynamic 1H MRI methods for non-invasive measurement of the biomechanical and functional properties of skeletal muscle. The information thus obtained ranges from the microscopic level of the metabolism of the myocyte to the macroscopic level of the contractile function of muscle complexes. The MR technology presented plays a vital role in achieving a better understanding of many basic aspects of muscle function, including the regulation of mitochondrial activity and the intricate interplay between muscle fiber organization and contractile function. In addition, these tools are increasingly being employed to establish novel diagnostic procedures as well as to monitor the effects of therapeutic and lifestyle interventions for muscle disorders that have an increasing impact in modern society.
NMR in Biomedicine. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17120296
High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has evolved into one of the major non-invasive tools to study the healthy and diseased mouse heart. This study presents a Cartesian CINE MRI protocol based on a fast low-angle shot sequence with a navigator echo to generate cardiac triggering and respiratory gating signals retrospectively, making the use of ECG leads and respiratory motion sensors obsolete. MRI of the in vivo mouse heart using this sequence resulted in CINE images with no detectable cardiac and respiratory motion artefacts. The retrospective method allows for steady-state imaging of the mouse heart, which is essential for quantitative contrast-enhanced MRI studies. A comparison was made between prospective and retrospective methods in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio and the contrast-to-noise ratio between blood and myocardial wall, as well as global cardiac functional indices: end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, stroke volume and ejection fraction. The retrospective method resulted in almost constant left-ventricle wall signal intensity throughout the cardiac cycle, at the expense of a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio and the contrast-to-noise ratio between blood and myocardial wall as compared with the prospective method. Prospective and retrospective sequences yielded comparable global cardiac functional indices. The largest mean relative difference found was 8% for the end-systolic volume.
FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Feb, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17202248
Noninvasive diagnostic imaging methods to establish the efficacy of angiostatic therapies are becoming increasingly important with the first Food and Drug Administration approvals of such agents. Magnetic resonance molecular imaging is an imaging technique that allows the visualization of pathological processes in vivo with a better spatial resolution as compared with nuclear methods, such as photon emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography. In this study, we used alpha(v)beta3 targeted bimodal liposomes to quantitate angiogenesis in a tumor mouse model with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the angiogenesis inhibitors anginex and endostatin. The MRI findings were validated with fluorescence microscopy and showed a very good correlation with the microvessel density. In conclusion, this study provides evidence that molecular MRI can be used to noninvasively measure the efficacy of angiogenesis inhibitors during the course of therapy.
Role of Ischemia and Deformation in the Onset of Compression-induced Deep Tissue Injury: MRI-based Studies in a Rat Model
Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17255369
A rat model was used to distinguish between the different factors that contribute to muscle tissue damage related to deep pressure ulcers that develop after compressive loading. The separate and combined effects of ischemia and deformation were studied. Loading was applied to the hindlimb of rats for 2 h. Muscle tissue was examined using MR imaging (MRI) and histology. An MR-compatible loading device allowed simultaneous loading and measurement of tissue status. Two separate loading protocols incorporated uniaxial loading, resulting in tissue compression and ischemic loading. Uniaxial loading was applied to the tibialis anterior by means of an indenter, and ischemic loading was accomplished with an inflatable tourniquet. Deformation of the muscle tissue during uniaxial loading was measured using MR tagging. Compression of the tissues for 2 h led to increased T2 values, which were correlated to necrotic regions in the tibialis anterior. Perfusion measurements, by means of contrast-enhanced MRI, indicated a large ischemic region during indentation. Pure ischemic loading for 2 h led to reversible tissue changes. From the MR-tagging experiments, local strain fields were calculated. A 4.5-mm deformation, corresponding to a surface pressure of 150 kPa, resulted in maximum shear strain up to 1.0. There was a good correlation between the location of damage and the location of high shear strain. It was concluded that the large deformations, in conjunction with ischemia, provided the main trigger for irreversible muscle damage.
Skeletal Muscle Degeneration and Regeneration After Femoral Artery Ligation in Mice: Monitoring with Diffusion MR Imaging
Radiology. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17384238
To prospectively evaluate quantitative diffusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for monitoring skeletal muscle injury and repair after femoral artery ligation in mice.
Spine. Apr, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17414907
In vitro and in vivo studies on the degradation of 70/30 poly(L,DL-lactide) (PLDLLA) cages.
Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17504156
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is increasingly used in clinical diagnostics, for a rapidly growing number of indications. The MRI technique is non-invasive and can provide information on the anatomy, function and metabolism of tissues in vivo. MRI scans of tissue anatomy and function make use of the two hydrogen atoms in water to generate the image. Apart from differences in the local water content, the basic contrast in the MR image mainly results from regional differences in the intrinsic relaxation times T(1) and T(2), each of which can be independently chosen to dominate image contrast. However, the intrinsic contrast provided by the water T(1) and T(2) and changes in their values brought about by tissue pathology are often too limited to enable a sensitive and specific diagnosis. For that reason increasing use is made of MRI contrast agents that alter the image contrast following intravenous injection. The degree and location of the contrast changes provide substantial diagnostic information. Certain contrast agents are predominantly used to shorten the T(1) relaxation time and these are mainly based on low-molecular weight chelates of the gadolinium ion (Gd(3+)). The most widely used T(2) shortening agents are based on iron oxide (FeO) particles. Depending on their chemical composition, molecular structure and overall size, the in vivo distribution volume and pharmacokinetic properties vary widely between different contrast agents and these largely determine their use in specific diagnostic tests. This review describes the current status, as well as recent and future developments of MRI contrast agents with focus on applications in oncology. First the basis of MR image contrast and how it is altered by contrast agents will be discussed. After some considerations on bioavailability and pharmacokinetics, specific applications of contrast agents will be presented according to their specific purposes, starting with non-specific contrast agents used in classical contrast enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI. Next targeted contrast agents, which are actively directed towards a specific molecular target using an appropriate ligand, functional contrast agents, mainly used for functional brain and heart imaging, smart contrast agents, which generate contrast as a response to a change in their physical environment as a consequence of some biological process, and finally cell labeling agents will be presented. To conclude some future perspectives are discussed.
Nanomedicine (London, England). Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17716176
The development of nanoparticulate contrast agents is providing an increasing contribution to the field of diagnostic and molecular imaging. Such agents provide several advantages over traditional compounds. First, they may contain a high payload of the contrast-generating material, which greatly improves their detectability. Second, multiple properties may be easily integrated within one nanoparticle to allow its detection with several imaging techniques or to include therapeutic qualities. Finally, the surface of such nanoparticles may be modified to improve circulation half-lives or to attach targeting groups. Magnetic resonance imaging and optical techniques are highly complementary imaging methods. Combining these techniques would therefore have significant advantages and may be realized through the use of nanoparticulate contrast agents. This review gives a survey of the different types of fluorescent and magnetic nanoparticles that have been employed for both magnetic resonance and optical imaging studies.
Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging : TMRI. Oct, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 18025995
Heart disease is the most prevalent cause of mortality in the Western world and is most frequently caused by rupture of lesions in the arteries, which are formed by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease, and therefore, there is a strong motivation to be able to image the stages of this disease in vivo. The pathogenesis of this disease is now well established, and a number of markers such as macrophages, vascular adhesion molecules, fibrin, and the alphanubeta3-integrin have been identified that are of particular interest for imaging. Furthermore, the differentiation between the stable and unstable plaque with imaging is a central goal of the field. Contrast can be generated in magnetic resonance imaging through the application of several types of agents such as T1, T2, chemical exchange saturation transfer or 19F-based imaging agents. Subsequent to the discussion of the above topics, we will describe some examples of molecular imaging agents that successfully detect specific markers in atherosclerotic plaques that are of interest in several stages of this disease.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 18046703
Pegylated, fluorescent, and paramagnetic micelles were developed. The micelles were conjugated with macrophage scavenger receptor (MSR)-specific antibodies. The abdominal aortas of atherosclerotic apoE-KO mice were imaged with T(1)-weighted high-resolution MRI before and 24 h after intravenous administration of the contrast agent (CA). Pronounced signal enhancement (SE) (up to 200%) was observed for apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-KO) mice that were injected with MSR-targeted micelles, while the aortic vessel wall of mice injected with nontargeted micelles showed little SE. To allow fluorescence microscopy and optical imaging of the excised aorta, the micelles were made fluorescent by incorporating either a quantum dot (QD) in the micelle corona or rhodamine lipids in the micelle. Ultraviolet (UV) illumination of the aorta allowed the identification of regions with high macrophage content, while MSR-targeted rhodamine micelles could be detected with fluorescence microscopy and were found to be associated with macrophages. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that macrophages in apoE-KO mice can be effectively and specifically detected by molecular MRI and optical methods upon administration of a pegylated micellar CA.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging : JMRI. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18050352
To compare global functional parameters determined from a stack of cinematographic MR images of mouse heart by a manual segmentation and an automatic segmentation algorithm.
Fast Progression of Recombinant Human Myelin/oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein (MOG)-induced Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in Marmosets is Associated with the Activation of MOG34-56-specific Cytotoxic T Cells
Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18209026
The recombinant human (rh) myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model in the common marmoset is characterized by 100% disease incidence, a chronic disease course, and a variable time interval between immunization and neurological impairment. We investigated whether monkeys with fast and slow disease progression display different anti-MOG T or B cell responses and analyzed the underlying pathogenic mechanism(s). The results show that fast progressor monkeys display a significantly wider specificity diversification of anti-MOG T cells at necropsy than slow progressors, especially against MOG(34-56) and MOG(74-96). MOG(34-56) emerged as a critical encephalitogenic peptide, inducing severe neurological disease and multiple lesions with inflammation, demyelination, and axonal injury in the CNS. Although EAE was not observed in MOG(74-96)-immunized monkeys, weak T cell responses against MOG(34-56) and low grade CNS pathology were detected. When these cases received a booster immunization with MOG(34-56) in IFA, full-blown EAE developed. MOG(34-56)-reactive T cells expressed CD3, CD4, or CD8 and CD56, but not CD16. Moreover, MOG(34-56)-specific T cell lines displayed specific cytotoxic activity against peptide-pulsed B cell lines. The phenotype and cytotoxic activity suggest that these cells are NK-CTL. These results support the concept that cytotoxic cells may play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
Smoothelin-B Deficiency Results in Reduced Arterial Contractility, Hypertension, and Cardiac Hypertrophy in Mice
Circulation. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18678771
Smoothelins are actin-binding proteins that are abundantly expressed in healthy visceral (smoothelin-A) and vascular (smoothelin-B) smooth muscle. Their expression is strongly associated with the contractile phenotype of smooth muscle cells. Analysis of mice lacking both smoothelins (Smtn-A/B(-/-) mice) previously revealed a critical role for smoothelin-A in intestinal smooth muscle contraction. Here, we report on the generation and cardiovascular phenotype of mice lacking only smoothelin-B (Smtn-B(-/-)).
Neurobiology of Disease. Nov, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18707002
Experimental febrile seizures (FS) are known to promote hyperexcitability of the limbic system and increase the risk for eventual temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Early markers of accompanying microstructural and metabolic changes may be provided by in vivo serial MRI. FS were induced in 9-day old rats by hyperthermia. Quantitative multimodal MRI was applied 24 h and 8 weeks later, in rats with FS and age-matched controls, and comprised hippocampal volumetry and proton spectroscopy, and cerebral T2 relaxometry and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). At 9 weeks histology was performed. Hippocampal T2 relaxation time elevations appeared to be transient. DTI abnormalities detected in the amygdala persisted up to 8 weeks. Hippocampal volumes were not affected. Histology showed increased fiber density and anisotropy in the hippocampus, and reduced neuronal surface area in the amygdala. Quantitative serial MRI is able to detect transient, and most importantly, long-term FS-induced changes that reflect microstructural alterations.
Kinetics of Avidin-induced Clearance of Biotinylated Bimodal Liposomes for Improved MR Molecular Imaging
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19025910
Dual labeled liposomes, carrying both paramagnetic and fluorescent lipids, were recently proposed as potent contrast agents for MR molecular imaging. These nanoparticles are coated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to increase their blood circulation half-life, which should allow extensive accumulation at the targeted site. To eliminate nonspecific blood pool signal from the MR images, the circulating liposomes should ideally be cleared from the circulation when sufficient target-specific contrast enhancement is obtained. To that aim, we designed an avidin chase that allowed controlled and rapid clearance of paramagnetic biotinylated liposomes from the blood circulation in C57BL/6 mice. Avidin-induced alterations in blood clearance kinetics and tissue distribution were studied quantitatively by determination of the Gd content in blood and tissue samples ex vivo. Intrinsic liposomal blood clearance showed bi-exponential behavior with half-lives t(1/2alpha) = 2.1 +/- 1.1 and t(1/2beta) = 15.1 +/- 5.4 hours, respectively. In contrast, the contrast agent was cleared from the blood by the avidin infusion to <1% of the initial dose within 4 hours. Avidin-induced liposomal blood clearance was also demonstrated in vivo by dynamic T(1)-weighted MRI. The ability to rapidly clear circulating contrast agents opens up exciting possibilities to study targeting kinetics, to increase the specificity of molecular MRI and to optimize nanoparticulate contrast agent formulations.
Paramagnetic Lipid-coated Silica Nanoparticles with a Fluorescent Quantum Dot Core: a New Contrast Agent Platform for Multimodality Imaging
Bioconjugate Chemistry. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19035793
Silica particles as a nanoparticulate carrier material for contrast agents have received considerable attention the past few years, since the material holds great promise for biomedical applications. A key feature for successful application of this material in vivo is biocompatibility, which may be significantly improved by appropriate surface modification. In this study, we report a novel strategy to coat silica particles with a dense monolayer of paramagnetic and PEGylated lipids. The silica nanoparticles carry a quantum dot in their center and are made target-specific by the conjugation of multiple alphavbeta3-integrin-specific RGD-peptides. We demonstrate their specific uptake by endothelial cells in vitro using fluorescence microscopy, quantitative fluorescence imaging, and magnetic resonance imaging. The lipid-coated silica particles introduced here represent a new platform for nanoparticulate multimodality contrast agents.
Improved Magnetic Resonance Molecular Imaging of Tumor Angiogenesis by Avidin-induced Clearance of Nonbound Bimodal Liposomes
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.). Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19048124
Angiogenic, that is, newly formed, blood vessels play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis and are a potential target for tumor treatment. In previous studies, the alpha(v)beta(3) integrin, which is strongly expressed in angiogenic vessels, has been used as a target for Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-functionalized nanoparticulate contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging-based visualization of angiogenesis. In the present study, the target-to-background ratio was increased by diminishing the nonspecific contrast enhancement originating from contrast material present in the blood pool. This was accomplished by the use of a so-called avidin chase, which allowed rapid clearance of non-bound paramagnetic RGD-biotin-liposomes from the blood circulation. C57BL/6 mice, bearing a B16F10 mouse melanoma, received RGD-functionalized or untargeted biotin-liposomes, which was followed by avidin infusion or no infusion. Precontrast, postcontrast, and postavidin T(1)-weighted magnetic resonance images were acquired at 6.3 T. Postcontrast images showed similar percentages of contrast-enhanced pixels in the tumors of mice that received RGD-biotin-liposomes and biotin-liposomes. Post avidin infusion this percentage rapidly decreased to precontrast levels for biotin-liposomes, whereas a significant amount of contrast-enhanced pixels remained present for RGD-biotin-liposomes. These results showed that besides target-associated contrast agent, the circulating contrast agent contributed significantly to the contrast enhancement as well. Ex vivo fluorescence microscopy confirmed association of the RGD-biotin-liposomes to tumor endothelial cells both with and without avidin infusion, whereas biotin-liposomes were predominantly found within the vessel lumen. The clearance methodology presented in this study successfully enhanced the specificity of molecular magnetic resonance imaging and opens exciting possibilities for studying detection limits and targeting kinetics of site-directed contrast agents in vivo.
Angiogenesis. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19067197
Molecular imaging of angiogenesis is urgently needed for diagnostic purposes such as early detection, monitoring of (angiostatic) therapy and individualized therapy. Multimodality molecular imaging is a promising and refined technique to study tumor angiogenesis, which has so far been largely unexplored due to the lack of suitable multimodal contrast agents. Here, we report on the application of a novel alphavbeta3-specific quantum dot-based nanoparticle, which has been optimized for both optical and magnetic resonance detection of tumor angiogenesis. Upon intravenous injection of RGD-pQDs in tumor-bearing mice, intravital microscopy allowed the detection of angiogenically activated endothelium at cellular resolution with a small scanning window and limited penetration depth, while magnetic resonance imaging was used to visualize angiogenesis at anatomical resolution throughout the entire tumor. Fluorescence imaging allowed whole-body investigation of angiogenic activity. Using these quantum dots and the aforementioned imaging modalities, the angiogenic tumor vasculature was readily detected with the highest angiogenic activity occurring in the periphery of the tumor. This nanoparticle may be employed for multimodality imaging of a variety of diseases that are accompanied by activation of endothelial cells. Furthermore, the current technology might be developed for molecular imaging of other pathophysiological processes.
Quantification of Left Ventricular Volumes and Ejection Fraction in Mice Using PET, Compared with MRI
Journal of Nuclear Medicine : Official Publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19091898
PET has become an important noninvasive imaging technique in cardiovascular research for the characterization of mouse models in vivo. This modality offers unique insight into biochemical changes on a molecular level, with excellent sensitivity. However, morphologic and functional changes may be of equal importance for a thorough assessment of left ventricular (LV) pathophysiology. Although echocardiography and MRI are widely considered the imaging techniques of choice for the assessment of these parameters, their use with PET considerably increases study complexity and decreases cost- and time-efficiency. In this study, a novel method for the additional quantification of LV volumes and ejection fraction (EF) from PET was evaluated using cardiac MRI as the reference method.
Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging. Jan-Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19137542
Apoptosis plays an important role in the etiology of various diseases. Several studies have reported on the use of annexin A5-functionalized iron oxide particles for the detection of apoptosis with MRI, both in vitro and in vivo. The protein annexin A5 binds with high affinity to the phospholipid phosphatidylserine, which is exposed in the outer leaflet of the apoptotic cell membrane. When co-exposed to apoptotic stimuli, this protein was shown to internalize into endocytic vesicles. Therefore in the present study we investigated the possible internalization of commercially available annexin A5-functionalized iron oxide particles (r1 = 34.0 +/- 2.1 and r2 = 205.0 +/- 10.4 mm(-1) s(-1) at 20 MHz), and the effects of their spatial distribution on relaxation rates R2*, R2 and R1. Two different incubation procedures were performed, where (1) Jurkat cells were either incubated with the contrast agent after induction of apoptosis or (2) Jurkat cells were simultaneously incubated with the apoptotic stimulus and the contrast agent. Transmission electron microscopy images and relaxation rates showed that the first incubation strategy mainly resulted in binding of the annexin A5-iron oxide particles to the cell membrane, whereas the second procedure allowed extensive membrane-association as well as a small amount of internalization. Owing to the small extent of internalization, only minor differences were observed between the DeltaR2*/DeltaR2 and DeltaR2/DeltaR1 ratios of cell pellets with membrane-associated or internalized annexin A5 particles. Only the increase in R1 (DeltaR1) appeared to be diminished by the internalization. Internalization of annexin A5-iron oxide particles is also expected to occur in vivo, where the apoptotic stimulus and the contrast agent are simultaneously present. Where the extent of internalization in vivo is similar to that observed in the present study, both T2- and T2*-weighted MR sequences are considered suitable for the detection of these particles in vivo.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19215042
The goal of this work was to elaborate a model describing the effective longitudinal relaxation rate constant R(1) for (1)H(2)O in three cellular compartments experiencing possible equilibrium water exchange, and to apply this model to explain the effective R(1) dependence on the overall concentration of a cell-internalized Gd(3+)-based contrast agent (CA). The model voxel comprises three compartments representing extracellular, cytoplasmic, and vesicular (e.g., endosomal, lysosomal) subcellular spaces. Relaxation parameters were simulated using a modified Bloch-McConnell equation including magnetization exchange between the three compartments. With the model, several possible scenarios for internalized CA distribution were evaluated. Relaxation parameters were calculated for contrast agent restricted to the cytoplasmic or vesicular compartments. The size or the number of CA-loaded vesicles was varied. The simulated data were then separately fitted with empirical mono- and biexponential inversion recovery expressions. The voxel CA-concentration dependencies of R(1) can be used to qualitatively and quantitatively understand a number of different experimental observations reported in the literature. Most important, the simulations reproduced the relaxivity "quenching" for cell-internalized contrast agent that has been observed.
Cellular Compartmentalization of Internalized Paramagnetic Liposomes Strongly Influences Both T1 and T2 Relaxivity
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19235908
In recent years, numerous Gd(3+)-based contrast agents have been developed to enable target-specific MR imaging of in vivo processes at the molecular level. The combination of powerful contrast agents and amplification strategies, aimed at increasing the contrast agent dose at the target site, is an often-used strategy to improve the sensitivity of biomarker detection. One such amplification mechanism is to target a disease-specific cell membrane receptor that can undergo multiple rounds of internalization following ligand binding and thus shuttle a sizeable amount of contrast agent into the target cell. An example of such a membrane receptor is the alpha(nu)beta(3) integrin. The goal of this study was to investigate the consequences of this amplification approach for the T(1)- and T(2)-shortening efficacy of a paramagnetic contrast agent. Cultured endothelial cells were incubated with paramagnetic liposomes that were conjugated with a cyclic RGD-peptide to enable internalization by means of the alpha(nu)beta(3) integrin receptor. Non-targeted liposomes served as a control. This study showed that alpha(nu)beta(3) targeting dramatically increased the uptake of paramagnetic liposomes. This targeting strategy, however, strongly influenced both the longitudinal and transverse relaxivity of the internalized paramagnetic liposomes.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19249169
To explain the signal behavior in 2D-TrueFISP imaging, a slice excitation profile should be considered that describes a variation of effective flip angles and magnetization phases after excitation. These parameters can be incorporated into steady-state equations to predict the final signal within a pixel. The use of steady-state equations assumes that excitation occurs instantaneously, although in reality this is a nonlinear process. In addition, often the flip angle variation within the slice excitation profile is solely considered when using steady-state equations, while TrueFISP is especially known for its sensitivity to phase variations. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate the precision of steady-state equations in calculating signal intensities in 2D TrueFISP imaging. To that end, steady-state slice profiles and corresponding signal intensities were calculated as function of flip angle, RF phase advance and pulse shape. More complex Bloch simulations were considered as a gold standard, which described every excitation within the sequence until steady state was reached. They were used to analyze two different methods based on steady-state equations. In addition, measurements on phantoms were done with corresponding imaging parameters. Although the Bloch simulations described the steady-state slice profile formation better than methods based on steady-state equations, the latter performed well in predicting the steady-state signal resulting from it. In certain cases the phase variation within the slice excitation profile did not even have to be taken into account.
Nanoparticulate Assemblies of Amphiphiles and Diagnostically Active Materials for Multimodality Imaging
Accounts of Chemical Research. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19435319
Modern medicine has greatly benefited from recent dramatic improvements in imaging techniques. The observation of physiological events through interactions manipulated at the molecular level offers unique insight into the function (and dysfunction) of the living organism. The tremendous advances in the development of nanoparticulate molecular imaging agents over the past decade have made it possible to noninvasively image the specificity, pharmacokinetic profiles, biodistribution, and therapeutic efficacy of many novel compounds. Several types of nanoparticles have demonstrated utility for biomedical purposes, including inorganic nanocrystals, such as iron oxide, gold, and quantum dots. Moreover, natural nanoparticles, such as viruses, lipoproteins, or apoferritin, as well as hybrid nanostructures composed of inorganic and natural nanoparticles, have been applied broadly. However, among the most investigated nanoparticle platforms for biomedical purposes are lipidic aggregates, such as liposomal nanoparticles, micelles, and microemulsions. Their relative ease of preparation and functionalization, as well as the ready synthetic ability to combine multiple amphiphilic moieties, are the most important reasons for their popularity. Lipid-based nanoparticle platforms allow the inclusion of a variety of imaging agents, ranging from fluorescent molecules to chelated metals and nanocrystals. In recent years, we have created a variety of multifunctional lipid-based nanoparticles for molecular imaging; many are capable of being used with more than one imaging technique (that is, with multimodal imaging ability). These nanoparticles differ in size, morphology, and specificity for biological markers. In this Account, we discuss the development and characterization of five different particles: liposomes, micelles, nanocrystal micelles, lipid-coated silica, and nanocrystal high-density lipoprotein (HDL). We also demonstrate their application for multimodal molecular imaging, with the main focus on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical techniques, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The functionalization of the nanoparticles and the modulation of their pharmacokinetics are discussed. Their application for molecular imaging of key processes in cancer and cardiovascular disease are shown. Finally, we discuss a recent development in which the endogenous nanoparticle HDL was modified to carry different diagnostically active nanocrystal cores to enable multimodal imaging of macrophages in experimental atherosclerosis. The multimodal characteristics of the different contrast agent platforms have proven to be extremely valuable for validation purposes and for understanding mechanisms of particle-target interaction at different levels, ranging from the entire organism down to cellular organelles.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. Sep-Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20049812
Multimodal contrast agents based on highly luminescent quantum dots (QDs) combined with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) or ions form an exciting class of new materials for bioimaging. With two functionalities integrated in a single nanoparticle, a sensitive contrast agent for two very powerful and highly complementary imaging techniques [fluorescence imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] is obtained. In this review, the state of the art in this rapidly developing field is given. This is done by describing the developments for four different approaches to integrate the fluorescence and magnetic properties in a single nanoparticle. The first type of particles is created by the growth of heterostructures in which a QD is either overgrown with a layer of a magnetic material or linked to a (superpara, or ferro) MNP. The second approach involves doping of paramagnetic ions into QDs. A third option is to use silica or polymer nanoparticles as a matrix for the incorporation of both QDs and MNPs. Finally, it is possible to introduce chelating molecules with paramagnetic ions (e.g., Gd-DTPA) into the coordination shell of the QDs. All different approaches have resulted in recent breakthroughs and the demonstration of the capability of bioimaging using both functionalities. In addition to giving an overview of the most exciting recent developments, the pros and cons of the four different classes of bimodal contrast agents are discussed, ending with an outlook on the future of this emerging new field.
Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Left Ventricular Remodeling in Response to Myocardial Infarction in the Mouse
NMR in Biomedicine. Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18780284
The cardiac muscle architecture lies at the basis of the mechanical and electrical properties of the heart, and dynamic alterations in fiber structure are known to be of prime importance in healing and remodeling after myocardial infarction. In this study, left ventricular remodeling was characterized using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in a mouse model of myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction was induced in mice by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Serial ex vivo DTI measurements were performed 7, 14, 28, and 60 days after ligation. Apparent diffusion coefficient, fractional anisotropy, the three eigenvalues of the diffusion tensor, and the myofiber disarray served as readout parameters. After myocardial infarction, the mouse hearts displayed extreme wall thinning in the infarcted area, which covered large parts of the apex and extended into the free wall up to the equator. Average heart mass increased by 70% 7-60 days after infarction. Histological analysis showed that the infarct at 7 days consisted of unstructured tissue with residual necrosis and infiltration of macrophages and myofibroblasts. At 14 days after infarction, the necrotic tissue had disappeared and collagen fibers were starting to appear. From 28 to 60 days, the infarct had fully developed into a mature scar. DTI parameters showed dynamic changes as a function of time after infarction. The apparent diffusion coefficient in the infarcted region was lower than in remote regions and increased as a function of time after infarction. The fractional anisotropy was higher in the infarcted region and was maximum at 28 days, which was attributed to the development of structured collagen fibers. Myofiber disarray, which was analyzed by considering the alignment of fibers in neighboring voxels, was significantly higher in infarcted regions. DTI provides a valuable non-destructive tool for characterizing structural remodeling in diseased myocardium.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics : Official Journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Für Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik E.V. Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18940253
The field of molecular imaging aims to visualize and quantify (patho)physiological processes at the cellular and molecular level. Sensitive and site-targeted contrast agents are employed to visualize molecular constituents of processes of interest. The principal aim of this study was to develop a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detectable liposome with high relaxivity and stability. To this end, Gd(III)DOTA-DSPE was synthesized and incorporated in a liposomal formulation. The resulting liposomes were extensively characterized in vitro in terms of contrast agent efficiency and structural properties. The liposomes were shown to have a high longitudinal relaxivity, which is crucial for the detection of low concentration molecular markers in molecular imaging studies. We also demonstrated that Gd(III)DOTA-DSPE exhibits no detectable transmetallation upon incubation with Zn(II). This is important as it significantly contributes to the biocompatibility of the contrast agent. The present liposome preparation will serve as versatile and well characterized platform for molecular imaging and targeted drug delivery studies.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20217606
Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a morphologically and biochemically distinct form of cell death, which together with proliferation plays an important role in tissue development and homeostasis. Insufficient apoptosis is important in the pathology of various disorders such as cancer and autoimmune diseases, whereas a high apoptotic activity is associated with myocardial infarction, neurodegenerative diseases, and advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Consequently, apoptosis is recognized as an important therapeutic target, which should be either suppressed, e.g., during an ischemic cardiac infarction, or promoted, e.g., in the treatment of cancerous lesions. Imaging tools to address location, amount, and time course of apoptotic activity non-invasively in vivo are therefore of great clinical use in the evaluation of such therapies. This chapter reviews current literature and new developments in the application of nanoparticles for non-invasive apoptosis imaging. Focus is on functionalized nanoparticle contrast agents for MR imaging and bimodal nanoparticle agents that combine magnetic and fluorescent properties.
MRI-determined Carotid Artery Flow Velocities and Wall Shear Stress in a Mouse Model of Vulnerable and Stable Atherosclerotic Plaque
Magma (New York, N.Y.). Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20229088
We report here on the pre-clinical MRI characterization of an apoE-/- mouse model of stable and vulnerable carotid artery atherosclerotic plaques, which were induced by a tapered restriction (cast) around the artery. Specific focus was on the quantification of the wall shear stress, which is considered a key player in the development of the plaque phenotype.
Paramagnetic and Fluorescent Liposomes for Target-specific Imaging and Therapy of Tumor Angiogenesis
Angiogenesis. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20390447
Angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth and metastatic potential and for that reason considered an important target for tumor treatment. Noninvasive imaging technologies, capable of visualizing tumor angiogenesis and evaluating the efficacy of angiostatic therapies, are therefore becoming increasingly important. Among the various imaging modalities, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is characterized by a superb spatial resolution and anatomical soft-tissue contrast. Revolutionary advances in contrast agent chemistry have delivered versatile angiogenesis-specific molecular MRI contrast agents. In this paper, we review recent advances in the preclinical application of paramagnetic and fluorescent liposomes for noninvasive visualization of the molecular processes involved in tumor angiogenesis. This liposomal contrast agent platform can be prepared with a high payload of contrast generating material, thereby facilitating its detection, and is equipped with one or more types of targeting ligands for binding to specific molecules expressed at the angiogenic site. Multimodal liposomes endowed with contrast material for complementary imaging technologies, e.g., MRI and optical, can be exploited to gain important preclinical insights into the mechanisms of binding and accumulation at angiogenic vascular endothelium and to corroborate the in vivo findings. Interestingly, liposomes can be designed to contain angiostatic therapeutics, allowing for image-supervised drug delivery and subsequent monitoring of therapeutic efficacy.
Angiogenesis. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20552267
Quantum dots exhibit unique optical properties for bioimaging purposes. We have previously developed quantum dots with a paramagnetic and functionalized coating and have shown their potential for molecular imaging purposes. In the current mini-review we summarize the synthesis procedure, the in vitro testing and, importantly, the in vivo application for multimodal molecular imaging of tumor angiogenesis.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20725932
The aim of the present study was to evaluate a fast clinical protocol to enable diffusion tensor imaging of the human forearm and assess the reproducibility of six diffusion tensor imaging parameters, i.e., the tensor eigenvalues (λ(1), λ(2), and λ(3)), mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, and ellipsoid eccentricity. The right forearms of 10 healthy volunteers were scanned twice, with a 1-week interval. Reproducibility of the diffusion tensor imaging parameters was interpreted using Bland-Altman plots, coefficient of repeatability, repeatability index, and the intraclass correlation coefficient. Analysis was done for three regions of interest: the whole muscle volume, flexor digitorum profundus, and extensor digitorum. The Bland-Altman analysis showed that there is good agreement between the two measurements. Based on the intraclass correlation coefficients, agreement was substantial (0.59 < intraclass correlation coefficient < 0.92) for all six parameters of the whole muscle volume and flexor digitorum profundus but only fair (0.18 < intraclass correlation coefficient < 0.64) for the extensor digitorum. Using a 7 min 40 sec scan protocol, which was well tolerated by the volunteers, the reproducibility of diffusion tensor imaging parameters was demonstrated. However, repeatability varies, depending on the region of interest and diffusion tensor imaging parameters. This should be taken into account when a longitudinal study is designed.
Surface Modification of PLGA Nanospheres with Gd-DTPA and Gd-DOTA for High-relaxivity MRI Contrast Agents
Biomaterials. Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20797782
The preparation of particulate contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based on biodegradable poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanocarriers is reported. By spacer-aided covalent surface-grafting of the prominent chelating ligands diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA), respectively, up to 236 μg gadolinium per mg PLGA can be immobilized in a stable manner. Due to the localisation at the particle surface, water protons may effectively interact with the gadolinium chelates and the modified particles exhibit high proton relaxivities as confirmed by T1 relaxivities of up to 17.5 mm(-1)s(-1) (25 °C, 1.41 T) in case of Gd-DOTA-functionalized carriers and also supported by NMRD profiles. The obtained values compare favorably with marketed low-molecular weight contrast agents and thus suggest suitability for in vivo use.
Annexin A5-functionalized Bimodal Nanoparticles for MRI and Fluorescence Imaging of Atherosclerotic Plaques
Bioconjugate Chemistry. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20804153
Apoptosis and macrophage burden are believed to correlate with atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability and are therefore considered important diagnostic and therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis. These cell types are characterized by the exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) at their surface. In the present study, we developed and applied a small micellar fluorescent annexin A5-functionalized nanoparticle for noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of PS exposing cells in atherosclerotic lesions. Annexin A5-mediated target-specificity was confirmed with ellipsometry and in vitro binding to apoptotic Jurkat cells. In vivo T(1)-weighted MRI of the abdominal aorta in atherosclerotic ApoE(-/-) mice revealed enhanced uptake of the annexin A5-micelles as compared to control-micelles, which was corroborated with ex vivo near-infrared fluorescence images of excised whole aortas. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) demonstrated that the targeted agent was associated with macrophages and apoptotic cells, whereas the nonspecific control agent showed no clear uptake by such cells. In conclusion, the annexin A5-conjugated bimodal micelles displayed potential for noninvasive assessment of cell types that are considered to significantly contribute to plaque instability and therefore may be of great value in the assessment of atherosclerotic lesion phenotype.
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19861142
Molecular imaging enables the non-invasive assessment of biological and biochemical processes in living subjects. Such technologies therefore have the potential to enhance our understanding of disease and drug activity during preclinical and clinical drug development. Molecular imaging allows a repetitive and non-invasive study of the same living subject using identical or alternative biological imaging assays at different time points, thus harnessing the statistical power of longitudinal studies, and reducing the number of animals required and cost. Chitosan is a hydrophilic and non-antigenic biopolymer and has a low toxicity toward mammalian cells. Hence, it has great potential as a biomaterial because of its excellent biocompatibility. Conjugated to additional materials, chitosan composites result in a new class of biomaterials that possess mechanical, physicochemical and functional properties, which have potential for use in advanced biomedical imaging applications. The present review will discuss the strengths, limitations and challenges of molecular imaging as well as applications of chitosan nanoparticles in the field of molecular imaging.
Diffusion of Water in Skeletal Muscle Tissue is Not Influenced by Compression in a Rat Model of Deep Tissue Injury
Journal of Biomechanics. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19897200
Sustained mechanical loading of skeletal muscle may result in the development of a severe type of pressure ulcer, referred to as deep tissue injury. Recently it was shown that the diffusion of large molecules (10-150kDa) is impaired during deformation of tissue-engineered skeletal muscle, suggesting a role for impaired diffusion in the aetiology of deep tissue injury. However, the influence of deformation on diffusion of smaller molecules on its aetiology is less clear. This motivated the present study designed to investigate the influence of deformation of skeletal muscle on the diffusion of water, which can be measured with diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It could be predicted that this approach will provide valuable information on the diffusion of small molecules. Additionally the relationship between muscle temperature and diffusion was investigated. During deformation of the tibialis anterior a decrease of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was observed (7.2+/-3.9%). The use of a finite element model showed that no correlation existed between the maximum shear strain and the decrease of the ADC. The ADC in the uncompressed gastrocnemius muscle decreased with 5.9+/-3.7%. In an additional experiment a clear correlation was obtained between the decrease of the ADC and the relative temperature change of skeletal muscle tissue as measured by MRI. Taken together, it was concluded that (1) the decreased diffusion of water was not a direct effect of tissue deformation and (2) that it is likely that the observed decreased ADC during deformation was a result of a decreased muscle temperature. The present study therefore provides evidence that diffusion of small molecules, particularly oxygen and carbon dioxide, is not impaired during deformation of skeletal muscle tissue.
Synergistic Targeting of Alphavbeta3 Integrin and Galectin-1 with Heteromultivalent Paramagnetic Liposomes for Combined MR Imaging and Treatment of Angiogenesis
Nano Letters. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19968235
Effective and specific targeting of nanoparticles is of paramount importance in the fields of targeted therapeutics and diagnostics. In the current study, we investigated the targeting efficacy of nanoparticles that were functionalized with two angiogenesis-specific targeting ligands, an alpha(v)beta(3) integrin-specific and a galectin-1-specific peptide. We show in vitro, using optical techniques and MRI, that the dual-targeting approach produces synergistic targeting effects, causing a dramatically elevated uptake of nanoparticles as compared to single ligand targeting.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Dec, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20928892
A first-pass myocardial perfusion sequence for mouse cardiac MRI is presented. A segmented ECG-triggered acquisition combined with parallel imaging acceleration was used to capture the first pass of a Gd-DTPA bolus through the mouse heart with a temporal resolution of 300-400 msec. The method was applied in healthy mice (N = 5) and in mice with permanent occlusion of the left coronary artery (N = 6). Baseline semiquantitative perfusion values of healthy myocardium showed excellent reproducibility. Infarct regions revealed a significant decrease in the semiquantitative myocardial perfusion values (0.05 ± 0.02) compared to remote myocardium (0.20 ± 0.04). Myocardial areas of decreased perfusion correlated well to infarct areas identified on the delayed-enhancement scans. This protocol is a valuable addition to the mouse cardiac MRI toolbox for preclinical studies of ischemic heart disease.
Dynamic Changes in 1H-MR Relaxometric Properties of Cell-internalized Paramagnetic Liposomes, As Studied over a Five-day Period
Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging. Mar-Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20936712
Molecular imaging based on MRI requires the use of amplification strategies in order to achieve sufficient sensitivity for the detection of low-level molecular markers. Recently, we described a combination of two amplification methods: (i) the use of paramagnetic liposomes that can be prepared with a high payload of Gd(3+)-containing lipid; and (ii) targeting to a cell-surface receptor that can undergo multiple rounds of nanoparticle delivery in the cell, followed by recycling to the cell membrane. Liposome uptake was monitored over a period of 24 h and was found to lead to massive delivery in subcellular compartments. The present study aimed to monitor the longer-term fate of the cell-internalized contrast material by studying its relaxometric properties over 5 days, following an initial 24 h loading period. Circa 25% of the Gd(3+)-content delivered to the cells via integrin-targeted liposomes was lost in the first 24 h, which led to 65 and 77% reductions in R(1) and R(2), respectively, as compared with the original R(1) and R(2) enhancements. This implies that the remaining cell-associated gadolinium had relatively low effective r(1) and r(2) relaxivities. It is proposed that this is due to gradual release of Gd(3+) from the chelate in the cell, followed by sequestration in an MR silent state. Most of the gadolinium internalized by cells following incubation with non-targeted liposomes was released in the 5-day follow-up period.
NMR in Biomedicine. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20960583
Cardiac MR T(1) mapping is a promising quantitative imaging tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of cardiomyopathy. Here, we present a new preclinical cardiac MRI method enabling three-dimensional T(1) mapping of the mouse heart. The method is based on a variable flip angle analysis of steady-state MR imaging data. A retrospectively triggered three-dimensional FLASH (fast low-angle shot) sequence (3D IntraGate) enables a constant repetition time and maintains steady-state conditions. 3D T(1) mapping of the complete mouse heart could be achieved in 20 min. High-quality, bright-blood T(1) maps were obtained with homogeneous T(1) values (1764 ± 172 ms) throughout the myocardium. The repeatability coefficient of R(1) (1/T(1) ) in a specific region of the mouse heart was between 0.14 and 0.20 s(-1) , depending on the number of flip angles. The feasibility for detecting regional differences in ΔR(1) was shown with pre- and post-contrast T(1) mapping in mice with surgically induced myocardial infarction, for which ΔR(1) values up to 0.83 s(-1) were found in the infarct zone. The sequence was also investigated in black-blood mode, which, interestingly, showed a strong decrease in the apparent mean T(1) of healthy myocardium (905 ± 110 ms). This study shows that 3D T(1) mapping in the mouse heart is feasible and can be used to monitor regional changes in myocardial T(1), particularly in relation to pathology and in contrast-enhanced experiments to estimate local concentrations of (targeted) contrast agent.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21053327
Endocytosis is a common internalization pathway for cellular labeling with MRI contrast agents. However, the entrapment of the Gd(III) complexes into endosomes results in a "quenching" of the attainable relaxivity when the number of Gd(III) complexes reaches the number of ca. 1 × 10(9)/cell. Herein we show that the use of the newly developed photochemical internalization technique provides an efficient method for attaining the endosomal escape of GdHPDO3A molecules entrapped by pinocytosis into different kind of cells. Furthermore, it has been found that a new "quenching" limit is observed when the number of Gd-HPDO3A complexes is ca. five times higher than the value observed for the endosome entrapped conditions. The observed behavior is explained in terms of the attainment of the conditions in which the difference in proton relaxation rates between the cytoplasmic and the extracellular compartment is higher than the exchange rate of water molecules across the cellular membrane. The experimental data points have been reproduced by using a properly designed theoretical compartment T(1)-relaxation model.
Chemical Communications (Cambridge, England). Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21088778
CryoTEM demonstrates that a CNA35-bearing liposomal MRI contrast agent selectively binds to poorly assembled collagen type I as opposed to well-assembled collagen fibrils, whereas monomeric CNA35 binds to all forms of collagen. It is shown that upon conjugation to liposomes and micelles CNA35 loses its ability to dissociate ordered collagen fibrils and thereby to create its own binding sites.
Anti-tumor Activity of Liposomal Glucocorticoids: The Relevance of Liposome-mediated Drug Delivery, Intratumoral Localization and Systemic Activity
Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21130819
Tumor-associated inflammation has been recognized as an important tumor growth propagator and, therefore, represents an attractive target for anti-cancer therapy. In the current study, inspired by recent findings on the anti-tumor activity of liposomal glucocorticoids, we introduce paramagnetic and fluorescent liposomes, encapsulating prednisolone phosphate (PLP), to evaluate the local delivery of liposomal glucocorticoids to the tumor and its importance for the therapeutic response. The new multifunctional liposomes (Gd-PLP-L) (120nm diameter, 5.8mg PLP/60μmol lipid, bioexponential blood-clearance kinetics (T(1/2α)=2.4±0.5h, T(1/2β)=42.0±12.4h), drug leakage of 15%/72h (in vitro)), containing 25mol% Gd-DTPA-lipid and 0.1mol% of rhodamine-lipid, were tested in B16F10 melanoma subcutaneously inoculated in C57BL/6 mice, and compared to the original PLP formulation (PLP-L). A single dose of Gd-PLP-L (20mgPLP/kg/week, i.v.) was found to significantly inhibit tumor growth compared to non-treated mice (P<0.05), similarly to PLP-L. The accumulation efficacy of the liposomal agent in the tumor was assessed with MRI, using the increase in the longitudinal relaxation rate (ΔR(1)) as a marker. Interestingly, large inter-tumor differences in ΔR(1) (0.009-0.063s(-1), 24h post-administration), corresponding to highly variable intratumoral Gd-PLP-L levels, did not correlate to the effectiveness of tumor growth inhibition. Uptake of liposomes by tumor-associated macrophages (TAM), determined by ex-vivo fluorescence microscopy, was limited to only 5% of the TAM population. Furthermore, the therapy did not lead to TAM depletion. Importantly, a 90% drop in white blood cell count both after Gd-PLP-L and PLP-L administration was observed. This depletion may reduce tumor infiltration of monocytes, which stimulate angiogenesis, and, thus, possibly co-contributes to the anti-tumor effects. In conclusion, MRI provides a powerful instrument to monitor the delivery of liposomal therapeutics to tumors and guided us to reveal that the activity of liposomal glucocorticoids is not limited to the tumor site only.
Angiogenesis. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21225337
Inflammation plays a prominent role in tumor growth. Anti-inflammatory drugs have therefore been proposed as anti-cancer therapeutics. In this study, we determined the anti-angiogenic activity of a single dose of liposomal prednisolone phosphate (PLP-L), by monitoring tumor vascular function and viability over a period of one week. C57BL/6 mice were inoculated subcutaneously with B16F10 melanoma cells. Six animals were PLP-L-treated and six served as control. Tumor tissue and vascular function were probed using MRI before and at three timepoints after treatment. DCE-MRI was used to determine K(trans), v(e), time-to-peak, initial slope and the fraction of non-enhancing pixels, complemented with immunohistochemistry. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), T(2) and tumor size were assessed with MRI as well. PLP-L treatment resulted in smaller tumors and caused a significant drop in K(trans) 48 h post-treatment, which was maintained until one week after drug administration. However, this effect was not sufficient to significantly distinguish treated from non-treated animals. The therapy did not affect tumor tissue viability but did prevent the ADC decrease observed in the control group. No evidence for PLP-L-induced tumor vessel normalization was found on histology. Treatment with PLP-L altered tumor vascular function. This effect did not fully explain the tumor growth inhibition, suggesting a broader spectrum of PLP-L activities.
The Effects of Deformation, Ischemia, and Reperfusion on the Development of Muscle Damage During Prolonged Loading
Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21757578
Deep tissue injury (DTI) is a severe form of pressure ulcer where tissue damage starts in deep tissues underneath intact skin. In the present study, the contributions of deformation, ischemia, and reperfusion to skeletal muscle damage development were examined in a rat model during a 6 h period. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to study perfusion (contrast-enhanced MRI) and tissue integrity (T(2)-weighted MRI). The levels of tissue deformation were estimated using finite element models. Complete ischemia caused a gradual homogeneous increase in T(2) (∼20 % during the 6 h period). The effect of reperfusion on T(2) was highly variable, depending on the anatomical location. In experiments involving deformation, inevitably associated with partial ischemia, a variable T(2) increase (17-66 % during the 6 h period) was observed reflecting the significant variation in deformation (with 2D strain energies of 0.60-1.51 J/mm) and ischemia (50.8-99.8 % of the leg) between experiments. These results imply that deformation, ischemia, and reperfusion all contribute to the damage process during prolonged loading, although their importance varies with time. The critical deformation threshold and period of ischemia that cause muscle damage will certainly vary between individuals. These variations are related to intrinsic factors, such as pathological state, which partly explain the individual susceptibility to the development of DTI and highlight the need for regular assessments of individual subjects.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21874503
Treatment of disease can only be effective when timely and accurate diagnosis of the pathology is achieved. More precise diagnosis can be accomplished if the underlying molecular processes involved in the pathology can be imaged in vivo. This is the field of molecular imaging, which aims to visualize cellular function and molecular processes in living organisms in a non-invasive way. With that aim, molecular markers are specifically targeted by imaging contrast agents. Molecular MRI needs powerful targeted contrast agents. For that purpose, target-specific gadolinium-containing paramagnetic and superparamagnetic, iron oxide-based micelles have been developed. Micelles are lipid-based nanoparticles which are biocompatible and carry a high payload of MR contrast-generating agent. The coupling of high-affinity ligands makes the micelles target-specific. Additionally, this lipid-based micelle platform allows for incorporation of contrast generating molecules for other imaging modalities, e.g., fluorescence or nuclear imaging. This permits applications for multiple imaging modalities, making micelles a highly versatile contrast agent.
Regional Contrast Agent Quantification in a Mouse Model of Myocardial Infarction Using 3D Cardiac T1 Mapping
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance : Official Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21974927
Quantitative relaxation time measurements by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) are of paramount importance in contrast-enhanced studies of experimental myocardial infarction. First, compared to qualitative measurements based on signal intensity changes, they are less sensitive to specific parameter choices, thereby allowing for better comparison between different studies or during longitudinal studies. Secondly, T1 measurements may allow for quantification of local contrast agent concentrations. In this study, a recently developed 3D T1 mapping technique was applied in a mouse model of myocardial infarction to measure differences in myocardial T1 before and after injection of a liposomal contrast agent. This was then used to assess the concentration of accumulated contrast agent.
Dual-targeting of α(v)β(3) and Galectin-1 Improves the Specificity of Paramagnetic/fluorescent Liposomes to Tumor Endothelium in Vivo
Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22079810
Molecular imaging of angiogenesis requires a highly specific and efficient contrast agent for targeting activated endothelium. We have previously demonstrated that paramagnetic and fluorescent liposomes functionalized with two angiogenesis-specific ligands, the galectin-1-specific anginex (Anx) and the α(v)β(3) integrin-specific RGD, produce synergistic targeting effect in vitro. In the current study, we applied Anx and RGD dual-conjugated liposomes (Anx/RGD-L) for angiogenesis-specific MRI in vivo, focusing on the specificity and efficacy of liposome association with tumor endothelium. The targeting properties, clearance kinetics and biodistribution of Anx/RGD-L were investigated in B16F10 melanoma-bearing mice, and compared to liposomes functionalized with either Anx (Anx-L) or RGD (RGD-L). The contrast enhancement produced by dual- and single-targeted nanoparticles in the tumor was measured using in vivo T(1)-weighted MRI, complemented by ex vivo immunohistochemical evaluation of tumor tissues. Blood clearance kinetics of Anx/RGD-L was three-fold more rapid than for RGD-L, but comparable to Anx-L. Both dual- and single-targeted liposomes produced similar changes in MRI contrast parameters in tumors with high inter-tumor variability (ΔR(1)=0.04±0.03s(-1), 24h post-contrast). Importantly, however, the specificity of Anx/RGD-L association with tumor endothelium of 53±6%, assessed by fluorescence microscopy, was significantly higher compared to 43±9% (P=0.043) and 28±8% (P=0.0001) of Anx-L and RGD-L, respectively. In contrast, long-circulating RGD-L were on average 16% more efficient in targeting tumor endothelium compared to Anx/RGD-L. Significant differences were also found in the biodistribution of investigated contrast agents. In conclusion, synergistic targeting of α(v)β(3) and galectin-1 improved the specificity of the association of the liposomal contrast agent to tumor endothelium in vivo, providing therefore a more reliable MRI readout of the angiogenic activity.
In Vivo Characterization of a New Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Mouse Model with Conventional and Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22133853
The goal of this study was to use noninvasive conventional and molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect and characterize abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) in vivo.
Contrast Enhancement by Differently Sized Paramagnetic MRI Contrast Agents in Mice with Two Phenotypes of Atherosclerotic Plaque
Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging. Jan-Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20882509
Interest in the use of contrast-enhanced MRI to enable in vivo specific characterization of atherosclerotic plaques is increasing. In this study the intrinsic ability of three differently sized gadolinium-based contrast agents to permeate different mouse plaque phenotypes was evaluated with MRI. A tapered cast was implanted around the right carotid artery of apoE(-/-) mice to induce two different plaque phenotypes: a thin cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) and a non-TCFA lesion. Both plaques were allowed to develop over 6 and 9 weeks, leading to an intermediate and advanced lesion, respectively. Signal enhancement in the carotid artery wall, following intravenous injection of Gd-HP-DO3A as well as paramagnetic micelles and liposomes was evaluated. In vivo T(1) -weighted MRI plaque enhancement characteristics were complemented by fluorescence microscopy and correlated to lesion phenotype. The two smallest contrast agents, i.e. Gd-HP-DO3A and micelles, were found to enhance contrast in T(1) -weighted MR images of all investigated plaque phenotypes. Maximum contrast enhancement ranged between 53 and 70% at 6 min after injection of Gd-HP-DO3A with highest enhancement and longest retention in the non-TCFA lesion. Twenty-four hours after injection of micelles maximum contrast enhancement ranged between 24 and 35% in all plaque phenotypes. Administration of the larger liposomes did not cause significant contrast enhancement in the atherosclerotic plaques. Confocal fluorescence microscopy confirmed the MRI-based differences in plaque permeation between micelles and liposomes. Plaque permeation of contrast agents was strongly dependent on size. Our results implicate that, when equipped with targeting ligands, liposomes are most suitable for the imaging of plaque-associated endothelial markers due to low background enhancement, whereas micelles, which accumulate extravascularly on a long timescale, are suited for imaging of less abundant markers inside plaques. Low molecular weight compounds may be employed for target-specific imaging of highly abundant extravascular plaque-associated targets.
Quantitative (1)H MRI, (19)F MRI, and (19)F MRS of Cell-internalized Perfluorocarbon Paramagnetic Nanoparticles
Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging. Jan-Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20648660
In vivo molecular imaging with targeted MRI contrast agents will require sensitive methods to quantify local concentrations of contrast agent, enabling not only imaging-based recognition of pathological biomarkers but also detection of changes in expression levels as a consequence of disease development, therapeutic interventions or recurrence of disease. In recent years, targeted paramagnetic perfluorocarbon emulsions have been frequently applied in this context, permitting high-resolution (1)H MRI combined with quantitative (19)F MR imaging or spectroscopy, under the assumption that the fluorine signal is not altered by the local tissue and cellular environment. In this in vitro study we have investigated the (19)F MR-based quantification potential of a paramagnetic perfluorocarbon emulsion conjugated with RGD-peptide to target the cell-internalizing α(ν)β(3)-integrin expressed on endothelial cells, using a combination of (1)H MRI, (19)F MRI and (19)F MRS. The cells took up the targeted emulsion to a greater extent than nontargeted emulsion. The targeted emulsion was internalized into large 1-7 µm diameter vesicles in the perinuclear region, whereas nontargeted emulsion ended up in 1-4 µm diameter vesicles, which were more evenly distributed in the cytoplasm. Association of the targeted emulsion with the cells resulted in different proton longitudinal relaxivity values, r(1), for targeted and control nanoparticles, prohibiting unambiguous quantification of local contrast agent concentration. Upon cellular association, the fluorine R(1) was constant with concentration, while the fluorine R(2) increased nonlinearly with concentration. Even though the fluorine relaxation rate was not constant, the (19)F MRI and (19)F MRS signals for both targeted nanoparticles and controls were linear and quantifiable as function of nanoparticle concentration.
NMR in Biomedicine. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22308108
The use of contrast agents has added considerable value to the existing cardiac MRI toolbox that can be used to study murine myocardial infarction, as it enables detailed in vivo visualization of the molecular and cellular processes that occur in the infarcted and remote tissue. A variety of non-targeted and targeted contrast agents to study myocardial infarction are available and under development. Manganese, which acts as a calcium analogue, can be used to assess cell viability. Traditionally, low-molecular-weight Gd-containing contrast agents are employed to measure infarct size in a late gadolinium enhancement experiment. Gd-based blood-pool agents are used to study the vascular status of the myocardium. The use of targeted contrast agents facilitates more detailed imaging of pathophysiological processes in the acute and chronic infarct. Cell death was visualized by contrast agents functionalized with annexin A5 that binds specifically to phosphatidylserine accessible on dying cells and with an agent that binds to the exposed DNA of dead cells. Inflammation in the myocardium was depicted by contrast agents that target cell adhesion molecules expressed on activated endothelium, by contrast agents that are phagocytosed by inflammatory cells, and by using a probe that targets enzymes excreted by inflammatory cells. Cardiac remodeling processes were visualized with a contrast agent that binds to angiogenic vasculature and with an MR probe that specifically binds to collagen in the fibrotic myocardium. These recent advances in murine contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI have made a substantial contribution to the visualization of the pathophysiology of myocardial infarction, cardiac remodeling processes and the progression to heart failure, which helps to design new treatments. This review discusses the advances and challenges in the development and application of MRI contrast agents to study murine myocardial infarction. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Current Cardiovascular Imaging Reports. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22308200
Inflammatory activity in atherosclerotic plaque is a risk factor for plaque rupture and atherothrombosis and may direct interventional therapy. Inflammatory activity can be evaluated at the (sub)cellular level using in vivo molecular MRI. This paper reviews recent progress in contrast-enhanced molecular MRI to visualize atherosclerotic plaque inflammation. Various MRI contrast agents, among others ultra-small particles of iron oxide, low-molecular-weight Gd-chelates, micelles, liposomes, and perfluorocarbon emulsions, have been used for in vivo visualization of various inflammation-related targets, such as macrophages, oxidized LDL, endothelial cell expression, plaque neovasculature, MMPs, apoptosis, and activated platelets/thrombus. An enzyme-activatable magnetic resonance contrast agent has been developed to study myeloperoxidase activity in inflamed plaques. Agents creating contrast based on the chemical exchange saturation transfer mechanism were used for thrombus imaging. Transfer of these molecular MRI techniques to the clinic will critically depend on the safety profiles of these newly developed magnetic resonance contrast agents.
NMR in Biomedicine. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22311260
Mouse models are increasingly used to study the pathophysiology of myocardial infarction in vivo. In this area, MRI has become the gold standard imaging modality, because it combines high spatial and temporal resolution functional imaging with a large variety of methods to generate soft tissue contrast. In addition, (target-specific) MRI contrast agents can be employed to visualize different processes in the cascade of events following myocardial infarction. Here, the MRI sequence has a decisive role in the detection sensitivity of a contrast agent. However, a straightforward translation of clinically available protocols for human cardiac imaging to mice is not feasible, because of the small size of the mouse heart and its extremely high heart rate. This has stimulated intense research in the development of cardiac MRI protocols specifically tuned to the mouse with regard to timing parameters, acquisition strategies, and ECG- and respiratory-triggering methods to find an optimal trade-off between sensitivity, scan time, and image quality. In this review, a detailed analysis is given of the pros and cons of different mouse cardiac MR imaging methodologies and their application in contrast-enhanced MRI of myocardial infarction. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Quantitative T (2) (*) Assessment of Acute and Chronic Myocardial Ischemia/reperfusion Injury in Mice
Magma (New York, N.Y.). Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22327962
OBJECT: Imaging of myocardial infarct composition is essential to assess efficacy of emerging therapeutics. T (2) (*) mapping has the potential to image myocardial hemorrhage and fibrosis by virtue of its short T (2) (*) . We aimed to quantify T (2) (*) in acute and chronic myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: I/R-injury was induced in C57BL/6 mice (n = 9). Sham-operated mice (n = 8) served as controls. MRI was performed at baseline, and 1, 7 and 28 days after surgery. MRI at 9.4 T consisted of Cine, T (2) (*) mapping and late-gadolinium-enhancement (LGE). Mice (n = 6) were histologically assessed for hemorrhage and collagen in the fibrotic scar. RESULTS: Baseline T (2) (*) values were 17.1 ± 2.0 ms. At day 1, LGE displayed a homogeneous infarct enhancement. T (2) (*) in infarct (12.0 ± 1.1 ms) and remote myocardium (13.9 ± 0.8 ms) was lower than at baseline. On days 7 and 28, LGE was heterogeneous. T (2) (*) in the infarct decreased to 7.9 ± 0.7 and 6.4 ± 0.7 ms, whereas T (2) (*) values in the remote myocardium were 14.2 ± 1.1 and 15.6 ± 1.0 ms. Histology revealed deposition of iron and collagen in parallel with decreased T (2) (*) . CONCLUSION: T (2) (*) values are dynamic during infarct development and decrease significantly during scar maturation. In the acute phase, T (2) (*) values in infarcted myocardium differ significantly from those in the chronic phase. T (2) (*) mapping was able to confirm the presence of a chronic infarction in cases where LGE was inconclusive. Hence, T (2) (*) may be used to discriminate between acute and chronic infarctions.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging : JMRI. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22334539
PURPOSE: To design a time-efficient patient-friendly clinical diffusion tensor MRI protocol and postprocessing tool to study the complex muscle architecture of the human forearm. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The 15-minute examination was done using a 3 T system and consisted of: T(1) -weighted imaging, dual echo gradient echo imaging, single-shot spin-echo echo-planar imaging (EPI) diffusion tensor MRI. Postprocessing comprised of signal-to-noise improvement by a Rician noise suppression algorithm, image registration to correct for motion and eddy currents, and correction of susceptibility-induced deformations using magnetic field inhomogeneity maps. Per muscle one to five regions of interest were used for fiber tractography seeding. To validate our approach, the reconstructions of individual muscles from the in vivo scans were compared to photographs of those dissected from a human cadaver forearm. RESULTS: Postprocessing proved essential to allow muscle segmentation based on combined T(1) -weighted and diffusion tensor data. The protocol can be applied more generally to study human muscle architecture in other parts of the body. CONCLUSION: The proposed protocol was able to visualize the muscle architecture of the human forearm in great detail and showed excellent agreement with the dissected cadaver muscles. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2012;. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.