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J Med Chem. 2013 Feb 28;56(4):1629-40. doi: 10.1021/jm301435z. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Synthesis and characterization of a novel gadolinium-based contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging of myelination.

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Department of Radiology, Case Center for Imaging Research, Division of Radiopharmaceutical Science, Case Western Reserve University, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States.


Myelin is a membrane system that fosters nervous impulse conduction in the vertebrate nervous system. Myelin sheath disruption is a common characteristic of several neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and various leukodystrophies. To date, the diagnosis of MS is obtained using a set of criteria in which MRI observations play a central role. However, because of the lack of specificity for myelin integrity, the use of MRI as the primary diagnostic tool has not yet been accepted. In order to improve MR specificity, we began developing MR probes targeted toward myelin. In this work we describe a new myelin-targeted MR contrast agent, Gd-DODAS, based on a stilbene binding moiety and demonstrate its ability to specifically bind to myelin in vitro and in vivo. We also present evidence that Gd-DODAS generates MR contrast in vivo in T1-weighed images and in T1 maps that correlates to the myelin content.

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