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Trends Biotechnol. 1998 Jan;16(1):5-10.

The development of in vivo imaging systems to study gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02129, USA. aboganov@helix.mgh.harvard.edu


Imaging techniques are currently being developed to map the topography and level of gene expression following gene therapy. To date, two different imaging strategies have been investigated--using marker genes encoding either intracellular enzymes or cell-surface receptors. The first approach employs the ability of certain enzymes to modify imaging prodrugs, so that tissue accumulation of such drugs reflects the expression. The second approach utilises cell-surface expression of a ligand-binding receptor that can be detected using imaging tracers. In this review, we discuss nuclear-and magnetic-resonance-image techniques that have been developed to detect gene expression.

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