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Exp Neurol. 1997 Jan;143(1):61-9.

Tumor cell endocytosis imaging facilitates delineation of the glioma-brain interface.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.


We describe a method for measuring tumor cell endocytosis in vivo and provide the anatomic correlate of this tumor cell function using a superparamagnetic and histologically detectable marker for cell uptake (MION). Rats (n = 22) were intrahemispherically implanted with a thymidine kinase (TK)-positive 9L gliosarcoma cell line, where TK served as the tumor marker. Twenty-four hours after intravenous injection of 10 mg Fe/kg of MION, rat brains were removed and underwent MR imaging ex vivo at near-microscopic resolution (isotropic voxel size of 86 microm, 9.4 T) prior to histologic processing. The imaging probe accumulated within tumor cells adjacent to the hyperpermeable tumor-brain interface including microscopic deposits and along finger-like invasions of the tumor into brain, facilitating the demarcation of the true histologic tumor border in three dimensions by MR microscopy. The method has potential research and clinical implications for delineating the tumor-brain interface prior to therapy and/or for providing a rational basis for imaging nanocolloid drug delivery to solid tumors.

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