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Circulation. 2008 Jan 22;117(3):388-95. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.719765. Epub 2008 Jan 2.

Noninvasive in vivo imaging of monocyte trafficking to atherosclerotic lesions.

Author information

  • 1Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Mass, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Monocytes play a key role in atherogenesis, but their participation has been discerned largely via ex vivo analyses of atherosclerotic lesions. We sought to establish a noninvasive technique to determine monocyte trafficking to atherosclerotic lesions in live animals.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Using a micro-single-photon emission computed tomography small-animal imaging system and a Food and Drug Administration-approved radiotracer ([indium 111] oxyquinoline, (111)In-oxine), we demonstrate here that monocyte recruitment to atherosclerotic lesions can be visualized in a noninvasive, dynamic, and 3-dimensional fashion in live animals. We show in vivo that monocytes are recruited avidly to plaques within days of adoptive transfer. Using micro-single-photon emission computed tomography imaging as a screening tool, we were able to investigate modulatory effects on monocyte recruitment in live animals. We found that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors rapidly and substantially reduce monocyte recruitment to existing atherosclerotic lesions, as imaged here in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS:

This novel approach to track monocytes to atherosclerotic plaques in vivo should have broad applications and create new insights into the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.

PMID:
18172031
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2705289
Free PMC Article

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