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Transplantation. 2007 Dec 27;84(12):1662-6. doi: 10.1097/01.tp.0000295932.26883.ba.

Sodium iodide symporter (hNIS) permits molecular imaging of gene transduction in cardiac transplantation.

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  • 1William J. von Liebig Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We evaluated the feasibility of noninvasive micro-single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) imaging and quantification of cardiac gene expression after sodium iodide symporter (hNIS) gene transfer in cardiac transplantation.

METHODS:

Donor rat hearts were perfused ex vivo with adenovirus expressing hNIS (Ad-hNIS), Ad-Null, or University of Wisconsin (UW) solution prior to heterotopic transplantation into syngeneic recipients. In the first group of recipients, imaging of the transplanted hearts with micro-SPECT/CT on day 5 was followed by immediate explant of the organs for ex vivo analyses. Radioactivity counts in the explanted hearts were obtained ex vivo and expressed as a percentage of the injected dose per gram of tissue (%ID/g). Intensities of the SPECT images of the transplanted hearts were quantified and converted to radioactive counts using a standard equation. The second group of recipients was imaged sequentially after injection of I on days 2 to 14 after transplantation.

RESULTS:

Higher ex vivo radioiodine counts were noted in the hearts perfused with Ad-hNIS (1.04+/-0.2) compared to either the UW group (0.31+/-0.11, P<0.001) or the Ad-Null group (0.32+/-0.08, P<0.001). Image intensity in the Ad-NIS group (0.9+/-0.2) was also significantly higher than in the UW group (0.4+/-.03, P=0.003) or the Ad-Null group (0.5+/-0.1, P<0.05). Sequential imaging of Ad-NIS-perfused hearts between postoperative days 2 and 14 revealed peak image intensity at day 5. Overall, image intensities correlated with ex vivo counts of radioactivity (rho=0.74, P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

These data demonstrate that hNIS gene transfer permits sequential real-time detection and quantification of reporter gene expression in the transplanted heart with micro-SPECT/CT imaging.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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