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Pharm Res. 2012 Jul;29(7):1843-53. doi: 10.1007/s11095-012-0708-6. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Fluorescence imaging of the lymph node uptake of proteins in mice after subcutaneous injection: molecular weight dependence.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 517 Hochstetter Hall, Amherst, New York 14260, USA.



To use noninvasive fluorescence imaging to investigate the influence of molecular weight (MW) of proteins on the rate of loss from a subcutaneous (SC) injection site and subsequent uptake by the draining lymph nodes in mice.


Bevacizumab (149 kDa), bovine serum albumin (BSA, 66 kDa), ovalbumin (44.3 kDa) or VEGF-C156S (23 kDa), labeled with the near infrared dye IRDye 680, were injected SC into the front footpad of SKH-1 mice. Whole body non-invasive fluorescence imaging was performed to quantitate the fluorescence signal at the injection site and in axillary lymph nodes.


The half-life values, describing the times for 50% loss of proteins from the injection site, were 6.81 h for bevacizumab, 2.85 h for BSA, 1.57 h for ovalbumin and 0.31 h for VEGF-C156S. The corresponding axillary lymph node exposure, represented as the area of the % dose versus time curve, was 6.27, 5.13, 4.06 and 1.54% dose ∙ h, respectively.


Our results indicate that the rate of loss of proteins from a SC injection site is inversely related to MW of proteins, while lymph node exposure is proportionally related to the MW of proteins in a mouse model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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