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Circ J. 2013;77(6):1482-9. Epub 2013 Mar 2.

Novel molecular imaging of atherosclerosis with gallium-68-labeled apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptide and positron emission tomography.

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Department of Cardiology, Fukuoka University School of Medicine, Japan.



 High-density lipoprotein (HDL) plays a major role in reverse cholesterol transport. Many researchers have been working to enhance the biochemical function of HDL for use in therapy. Although HDL therapy using injections of apolipoprotein (apo)-A-I mimetics, apo A-I Milano or full-length apo A-I is dramatically effective, it is still unclear whether apo A-I or apo A-I mimetics actually enter atherosclerotic plaque and remove cholesterol from the lipid burden. We synthesized a novel 24-amino acid apo A-I mimetic peptide (known as FAMP) that potently removes cholesterol via specific ATP-binding cassette transporter A1. We then investigated the potential of FAMP to image developing plaque lesions in vivo.


 FAMP was modified with 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) and radiolabeled with gallium-68 ((68)Ga) for noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET) in an animal model (familial hypercholesterolemic myocardial infarction-prone rabbits: WHHL-MI) with atherosclerotic lesions. The (68)Ga-DOTA-FAMP was dramatically taken up by atherosclerotic tissues in the blood vessels and aorta of WHHL-MI rabbits, but not the control rabbits.


 An apo A-I mimetic peptide with (68)Ga-DOTA is a promising candidate diagnostic tracer for PET imaging of the atherosclerotic lipid burden and may contribute to the development of a tool for the diagnosis of plaque with PET. 

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