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J Pharm Sci. 2012 May;101(5):1744-54. doi: 10.1002/jps.23058. Epub 2012 Jan 19.

Noninvasive real-time fluorescence imaging of the lymphatic uptake of BSA-IRDye 680 conjugate administered subcutaneously in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Amherst, New York 14260, USA.


The goal of our studies was to determine lymphatic uptake of bovine serum albumin (BSA) using real-time noninvasive fluorescence imaging. BSA labeled with near-infrared dye (IRDye) 680 was used as a model protein-dye conjugate. The conjugation of BSA with IRDye 680 was confirmed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Size-exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography and SDS-PAGE demonstrated that the IRDye 680-labeled BSA conjugate in the lymph node (LN) homogenate samples was stable at physiological temperature (37°C) for at least 5 days. Whole-body noninvasive optical imaging of hairless SKH-1 mice was performed after subcutaneous (s.c.) injection (dose = 0.1 mg/kg) into the front footpad. Noninvasive fluorescence imaging demonstrated that BSA-IRDye 680 conjugates were dynamically taken up by the lymphatic system, accumulated in the axillary LNs and then cleared, indicating that lymphatic transport plays a role in the absorption of BSA. Ex vivo tissue imaging of LN homogenates provided confirmatory data with respect to the uptake of fluorescent-labeled BSA determined by in vivo imaging. Noninvasive real-time imaging of LNs provides a novel tool for evaluating uptake and accumulation of fluorescent-labeled proteins by the lymphatic system after s.c. injection in a mouse model.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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