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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2008 Feb;29(2):229-34. Epub 2007 Nov 16.

Noninvasive molecular neuroimaging using reporter genes: part I, principles revisited.

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Department of Radiology, Section of Neuroradiology, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


In this first article, we review the basic principles of using reporter genes for molecular imaging of the brain in living subjects. This approach is emerging as a valuable tool for monitoring gene expression in diverse applications in laboratory animals, including the study of gene-targeted and trafficking cells, gene therapies, transgenic animals, and more complex molecular interactions within the central nervous system. Further development of more sensitive and selective reporters, combined with improvements in detection technology, will consolidate the position of in vivo reporter gene imaging as a versatile method for greater understanding of intracellular biologic processes and underlying molecular neuropathology and will potentially establish a future role in the clinical management of patients with neurologic diseases.

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