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Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2013 May;29(5):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.kjms.2012.09.002. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of mice liver tumors using a new gadolinium-based contrast agent.

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Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


We compared the enhancement effect between a newly synthesized tissue-specific contrast agent, [Gd-DOTA-FPβG], and a commercially available agent, [Gd(DOTA)](-), in a murine model of liver tumor using a clinical magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The colon cancer cell lines with and without β-glucuronidase (βG) expression were implanted into the liver of mice. Self-synthesized gadolinium-based magnetic resonance contrast agent, [Gd(DOTA-FPβG)], was administered to measure enhancement on magnetic resonance images using a commercially available agent, [Gd(DOTA)](-), as control in a clinical 3.0 tesla (T) magnetic resonance scanner. In vivo fluorescence imaging and histopathology of the liver were also performed to compare and correlate with the magnetic resonance studies. The in vivo fluorescence imaging failed to depict a sufficiently intense signal for liver or liver tumor of mice without exposure of the liver following an incision on the abdominal wall. The tissue-specific magnetic resonance agent, [Gd(DOTA-FPβG)], caused significantly stronger enhancement in tumors expressing βG (CT26/mβG-eB7) than in tumors not expressing βG (CT26) (p < 0.05). In the magnetic resonance imaging studies using control agent [Gd(DOTA)](-), the tumors with and without βG expression depicted no significant difference in enhancement on the T1-weighted images. The [Gd(DOTA-FPβG)] also provided significantly more contrast uptake in the CT26/mβG-eB7 tumor than in the normal liver parenchyma, whereas the [Gd(DOTA)](-) did not. This study confirms that better contrast enhancement can be readily detected in vivo by the use of a tissue-specific magnetic resonance contrast agent to target tumor cells with specific biomarkers in a clinical magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

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