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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004 Nov;31(11):1530-8. Epub 2004 Sep 16.

A preclinical model for noninvasive imaging of hypoxia-induced gene expression; comparison with an exogenous marker of tumor hypoxia.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, NY, New York 10021, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Hypoxia is associated with tumor aggressiveness and is an important cause of resistance to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Assays of tumor hypoxia could provide selection tools for hypoxia-modifying treatments. The purpose of this study was to develop and characterize a rodent tumor model with a reporter gene construct that would be transactivated by the hypoxia-inducible molecular switch, i.e., the upregulation of HIF-1.

METHODS:

The reporter gene construct is the herpes simplex virus 1-thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk) fused with the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the regulation of an artificial hypoxia-responsive enhancer/promoter. In this model, tumor hypoxia would up-regulate HIF-1, and through the hypoxia-responsive promoter transactivate the HSV1-tkeGFP fusion gene. The expression of this reporter gene can be assessed with the 124I-labeled reporter substrate 2'-fluoro-2'-deoxy-1-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl-5-iodouracil (124I-FIAU), which is phosphorylated by the HSV1-tk enzyme and trapped in the hypoxic cells. Animal positron emission tomography (microPET) and phosphor plate imaging (PPI) were used in this study to visualize the trapped 124I-FIAU, providing a distribution of the hypoxia-induced molecular events. The distribution of 124I-FIAU was also compared with that of an exogenous hypoxic cell marker, 18F-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO).

RESULTS:

Our results showed that 124I-FIAU microPET imaging of the hypoxia-induced reporter gene expression is feasible, and that the intratumoral distributions of 124I-FIAU and 18F-FMISO are similar. In tumor sections, detailed radioactivity distributions were obtained with PPI which also showed similarity between 124I-FIAU and 18F-FMISO.

CONCLUSION:

This reporter system is sufficiently sensitive to detect hypoxia-induced transcriptional activation by noninvasive imaging and might provide a valuable tool in studying tumor hypoxia and in validating existing and future exogenous markers for tumor hypoxia.

PMID:
15378285
DOI:
10.1007/s00259-004-1673-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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