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Nat Protoc. 2006;1(1):108-10.

Radiolabeling of HYNIC-annexin V with technetium-99m for in vivo imaging of apoptosis.

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Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 94305, USA.


Apoptosis is a critical factor in AIDS and other viral illnesses, cerebral and myocardial ischemia, autoimmune and neurodegenerative states, organ and bone marrow transplant rejection, and tumor response to chemotherapy and radiation. Improved methods to identify sites of apoptosis are increasing our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of these and numerous other human disorders. Here we describe the most used method for labeling annexin V, a protein with a high affinity for apoptotic cells in vitro, with technetium-99m (99mTc) as a radionuclide imaging agent that can localize and non-invasively quantify apoptosis in vivo when coupled with single-photon emission tomography. In this method, annexin V is first attached to the bifunctional chelator molecule hydrazino nicotinate (HYNIC). Once prepared, HYNIC-annexin V can be labeled with 99mTc, a widely available gamma-radiation-emitting radionuclide, for intravenous injection in as little as 30 min without the need for specialized reagents or equipment.

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