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Mol Imaging Biol. 2012 Jun;14(3):315-24. doi: 10.1007/s11307-011-0495-1.

RGD-conjugated human ferritin nanoparticles for imaging vascular inflammation and angiogenesis in experimental carotid and aortic disease.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5233, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Inflammation and angiogenesis are important contributors to vascular disease. We evaluated imaging both of these biological processes, using Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-conjugated human ferritin nanoparticles (HFn), in experimental carotid and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease.

PROCEDURES:

Macrophage-rich carotid lesions were induced by ligation in hyperlipidemic and diabetic FVB mice (n = 16). AAAs were induced by angiotensin II infusion in apoE(-/-) mice (n=10). HFn, with or without RGD peptide, was labeled with Cy5.5 and injected intravenously for near-infrared fluorescence imaging.

RESULTS:

RGD-HFn showed significantly higher signal than HFn in diseased carotids and AAAs relative to non-diseased regions, both in situ (carotid: 1.88 ± 0.30 vs. 1.17 ± 0.10, p = 0.04; AAA: 2.59 ± 0.24 vs. 1.82 ± 0.16, p = 0.03) and ex vivo. Histology showed RGD-HFn colocalized with macrophages in carotids and both macrophages and neoangiogenesis in AAA lesions.

CONCLUSIONS:

RGD-HFn enhances vascular molecular imaging by targeting both vascular inflammation and angiogenesis, and allows more comprehensive detection of high-risk atherosclerotic and aneurysmal vascular diseases.

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