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Eur Radiol. 2012 Mar;22(3):551-8. doi: 10.1007/s00330-011-2285-1. Epub 2011 Sep 24.

In vivo imaging of human breast cancer mouse model with high level expression of calcium sensing receptor at 3T.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, IST, National Cancer Institute, Largo Rosanna Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy.



To demonstrate that manganese can visualise calcium sensing receptor (CaSR)-expressing cells in a human breast cancer murine model, as assessed by clinical 3T magnetic resonance (MR).


Human MDA-MB-231-Luc or MCF7-Luc breast cancer cells were orthotopically grown in NOD/SCID mice to a minimum mass of 5 mm. Mice were evaluated on T1-weighted sequences before and after intravenous injection of MnCl(2). To block the CaSR-activated Ca(2+) channels, verapamil was injected at the tumour site 5 min before Mn(2+) administration. CaSR expression in vivo was studied by immunohistochemistry.


Contrast enhancement was observed at the tumour periphery 10 min after Mn(2+) administration, and further increased up to 40 min. In verapamil-treated mice, no contrast enhancement was observed. CaSR was strongly expressed at the tumour periphery.


Manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging can visualise CaSR-expressing breast cancer cells in vivo, opening up possibilities for a new MR contrast agent.


• Manganese contrast agents helped demonstrate breast cancer cells in an animal model. • Enhancement was most marked in cells with high calcium sensing receptor expression. • Manganese uptake was related to the distribution of CaSR within the tumour. • Manganese MRI may become useful to investigate human breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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