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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2006 Feb 26;246(1-2):69-75. Epub 2006 Jan 4.

Molecular imaging: a new way to study molecular processes in vivo.

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Center of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Non-invasive imaging of reporter gene expression using different imaging modalities is increasing its role for the in vivo assessment of molecular processes. Multimodality imaging protocols overcome limitations to a single imaging modality and provide a thorough view of specific processes, often allowing a quantitative measurement and direct visualization of the process in a specific target organ or tissue. The use of the right reporter gene for the development of animal models and the characterization of its expression in different conditions and tissues is fundamental for basic, translational and future pharmacological applications of a given model. This paper summarizes the major steps in the development and evaluation of a specific animal model for in vivo molecular imaging studies and describes the first example of an animal model designed for the in vivo assessment of a specific receptor activity and its possible evolution towards multimodality imaging analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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