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Int J Cancer. 2011 May 1;128(9):2138-46. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25547.

Molecular imaging of mesothelioma by detection of manganese-superoxide dismutase activity using manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.

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Molecular Imaging Center, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Inage-ku, Chiba, Japan.


Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a fatal malignancy with a rapidly increasing incidence in industrialized countries because of the widespread use of asbestos in the past centuries. Early diagnosis of MM is critical for a better prognosis, but this is often difficult because of the lack of disease-specific diagnostic imaging. Here, we report that manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) represents a promising approach for a more selective mesothelioma imaging by monitoring a high-level expression of manganese-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD), which is observed in many MM. We found that most human MM cells overexpressed Mn-SOD protein compared with human mesothelial cells and that NCI-H226 human MM cells highly expressed Mn-SOD and augmented Mn accumulation when loaded with manganese chloride (MnCl(2)). The cells showed marked T(1)-signal enhancement on in vitro MRI after incubation with MnCl(2) because of the T(1) shortening effect of Mn(2+). H226 subcutaneous tumor was preferentially enhanced compared with a lung adenocarcinoma cell tumor and another human MM cell tumor in MnCl(2)-enhanced T(1)-weighted MR image (T(1)WI), correlating with their respective Mn-SOD expression levels. Moreover, in a more clinically relevant setting, H226 xenografted pleural tumor was markedly enhanced and readily detected by MEMRI using manganese dipyridoxyl diphosphate (MnDPDP), a clinically used contrast agent, as well as MnCl(2). Therefore, we propose that MEMRI can be a potentially powerful method for noninvasive detection of MM, with high spatial resolution and marked signal enhancement, by targeting Mn-SOD.

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