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Acta Radiol. 2018 Dec;59(12):1431-1437. doi: 10.1177/0284185118762613. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

In vivo MRI detection of atherosclerosis in ApoE-deficient mice by using tenascin-C-targeted USPIO.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, PR China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Atherosclerosis is the main cause of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Non-invasive molecular imaging to detect and characterize the plaques is essential for reducing life-threatening cardiovascular events.

PURPOSE:

To investigate the possibility of the anti-tenascin-C-USPIO specific probe as a molecular marker of atherosclerotic plaques detected by 7.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Twenty ApoE-/- mice fed with a high fat diet were used for detecting the aorta arch atherosclerotic plaques by 7.0-T MRI at 16 and 24 weeks. Ten mice in the targeted group were injected with anti-tenascin-C-USPIO and another ten in the control group were injected with pure USPIO (n = 5 each time point in each group). Histopathologic examination was used to evaluate the plaques and immunohistochemistry analysis was used to compare tenascin-C expression.

RESULTS:

The relative signal intensity (rSI) changes of the targeted group decreased more than those of the control group (16 weeks: -15.65 ± 0.78% vs. -3.43 ± 2.57%; 24 weeks: -26.38 ± 1.54% vs. -11.12 ± 1.60%, respectively; P < 0.05). Histopathological analyses demonstrated visible atherosclerotic plaques formation and development over time from 16 weeks to 24 weeks. Tenascin-C expression of the plaques at 24 weeks was higher than that at 16 weeks (0.22 ± 0.04 vs. 0.13 ± 0.02, P < 0.05). The MR images correlated well with the progression of atherosclerotic plaques.

CONCLUSION:

Tenascin-C expression increased with the progression of atherosclerosis. Anti-tenascin-C-USPIO could provide a useful molecular imaging tool for detecting and monitoring atherosclerotic plaques by MRI.

KEYWORDS:

Tenascin-C; USPIO; atherosclerosis; magnetic resonance image

PMID:
29566551
DOI:
10.1177/0284185118762613
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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