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Mol Imaging. 2002 Apr-Jun;1(2):102-7.

Annexin V-CLIO: a nanoparticle for detecting apoptosis by MRI.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA.


Annexin V, which recognizes the phosphatidylserine of apoptotic cells, was conjugated to crosslinked iron oxide (CLIO) nanoparticles, a functionalized superparamagnetic preparation developed for target-specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The resulting nanoparticle had an average of 2.7 annexin V proteins linked per CLIO nanoparticle through disulfide bonds. Using camptothecin to induce apoptosis, a mixture of Jurkat T cells (69% healthy and 31% apoptotic) was incubated with annexin V-CLIO and was applied to magnetic columns. The result was an almost complete removal of the apoptotic cells (> 99%). In a phantom MRI experiment, untreated control cells (12% apoptotic cells, 88% healthy cells) and camptothecin-treated cells (65% apoptotic cells, 35% healthy cells) were incubated with either annexin V-CLIO (1.0, 0.5, and 0.1 microgram Fe/mL) or with unlabeled CLIO. A significant signal decrease of camptothecin-treated cells relative to untreated cells was observed even at the lowest concentration tested. Unmodified CLIO failed to cause a significant signal change of apoptotic cells. Hence, annexin V-CLIO allowed the identification of cell suspensions containing apoptotic cells by MRI even at very low concentrations of magnetic substrate. Conjugation of annexin V to CLIO affords a strategy for the development of a MRI imaging probe for detecting apoptosis.

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