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J Cell Mol Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;12(1):174-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00220.x. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

In vivo detection of c-Met expression in a rat C6 glioma model.

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Small Animal MRI Core Facility, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.


The tyrosine kinase receptor, c-Met, and its substrate, the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), are implicated in the malignant progression of glioblastomas. In vivo detection of c-Met expression may be helpful in the diagnosis of malignant tumours. The C6 rat glioma model is a widely used intracranial brain tumour model used to study gliomas experimentally. We used a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) molecular targeting agent to specifically tag the cell surface receptor, c-Met, with an anti-c-Met antibody (Ab) linked to biotinylated Gd (gadolinium)-DTPA (diethylene triamine penta acetic acid)-albumin in rat gliomas to detect overexpression of this antigen in vivo. The anti-c-Met probe (anti-c-Met-Gd-DTPA-albumin) was administered intravenously, and as determined by an increase in MRI signal intensity and a corresponding decrease in regional T(1) relaxation values, this probe was found to detect increased expression of c-Met protein levels in C6 gliomas. In addition, specificity for the binding of the anti-c-Met contrast agent was determined by using fluorescence microscopic imaging of the biotinylated portion of the targeting agent within neoplastic and 'normal'brain tissues following in vivo administration of the anti-c-Met probe. Controls with no Ab or with a normal rat IgG attached to the contrast agent component indicated no non-specific binding to glioma tissue. This is the first successful visualization of in vivo overexpression of c-Met in gliomas.

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