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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Oct;66(4):1152-62. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22876. Epub 2011 Feb 28.

A molecular MRI probe to detect treatment of cardiac apoptosis in vivo.

Author information

1
Cardiology Section and Research Service, San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.

Abstract

Cell death by apoptosis is critical in myocardial diseases, and noninvasive detection of early, reversible apoptosis might be useful clinically. Exogenous Annexin-V (ANX) protein binds membrane phosphatidylserine, which is externalized in early apoptosis. A molecular MRI probe was constructed with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) conjugated to recombinant human ANX (ANX-SPIO). Apoptosis was induced with doxorubicin, a cardiotoxic cancer drug, in culture in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, cardiac fibroblasts, and mesenchymal stem cells, and in vivo in the mouse heart. ANX-SPIO was validated using T2*-weighted 3T MRI. ANX-SPIO produced T2* signal loss, reflecting iron content, that correlated highly with independent apoptosis markers; bound with high affinity to apoptotic myocytes by competition assay (Ki 69 nM); detected apoptosis in culture much earlier than did TUNEL stain; and revealed fibroblast resistance to apoptosis. With apoptosis in vivo, ANX-SPIO produced diffuse myocardial T2* signal loss that correlated with increased iron stain and caspase activity. Treatment with an alpha-1-adrenergic agonist in vivo reversed apoptosis and eliminated the ANX-SPIO MRI signal. It is concluded that cardiac MRI of ANX-SPIO detects early, nonischemic cardiac apoptosis in culture and in vivo, and can identify reversibly injured cardiac cells in diseased hearts, when treatment is still possible.

PMID:
21360750
PMCID:
PMC3138815
DOI:
10.1002/mrm.22876
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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