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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Dec 17;125(50):15288-9.

A paramagnetic CEST agent for imaging glucose by MRI.

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  • 1The Rogers Magnetic Resonance Center, Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9085, USA.


The europium(III) complex of a DOTA-tetraamide ligand (DOTA = 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N' ',N' ''-tetraacetic acids) containing two phenyl boronate pendent arms binds glucose reversibly with an association constant of 383 M-1 at pH 7. Glucose binding results in slowing of water exchange between a single Eu(III)-bound water molecule and bulk water, and this can be imaged by MRI using chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging sequence. This metabolite-responsive paramagnetic CEST agent responds to changes in glucose over the physiologically important range (0-20 mM), and thus it offers the possibility of high-sensitivity MR imaging glucose in tissues using bulk water protons as antenna.

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