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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Jan 13;132(1):168-77. doi: 10.1021/ja905274f.

Activatable magnetic resonance imaging agents for myeloperoxidase sensing: mechanism of activation, stability, and toxicity.

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Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Mar 7;134(9):4452.


Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is increasingly being recognized as an important factor in many inflammatory diseases, particularly cardiovascular and neurological diseases. MPO-specific imaging agents would thus be highly useful to diagnose early disease, monitor disease progression, and quantify treatment effects. This study reports in vitro and in vivo characterizations of the mechanism of interaction between MPO and paramagnetic enzyme substrates based on physical and biological measurements. We show that these agents are activated through a radical mechanism, which can combine to form oligomers and, in the presence of tyrosine-containing peptide, bind to proteins. We further identified two new imaging agents, which represent the near extremes in either oligomerization (mono-5HT-DTPA-Gd) or protein-binding in their activation mechanism (bis-o-dianisidine-DTPA-Gd). On the other hand, we found that the agent bis-5HT-DTPA-Gd utilizes both mechanisms when activated. These properties yield distinct in vivo pharmacokinetics profiles for each of these agents that may be exploited for different applications. Specificity studies show that only MPO, but not eosinophil peroxidase, can highly activate these agents, and that MPO activity as low as 0.005 U/mg of tissue can be detected. Gd kinetic lability and cytotoxicity studies further confirm stability of the Gd ion and low toxicity for the 5HT-based agents, suggesting that these agents are suitable for translational in vivo studies.

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