Transplantation of isolated hepatocytes may eventually replace a whole liver transplantation for the treatment of selected liver metabolic disorders and acute hepatic failure. To understand the behavior of transplanted hepatocytes, methods for longitudinal assessment of functional activity and survival of hepatocyte transplants must be developed. Targeting of asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPr) with various radiolabeled or Gd-labeled constructs of asialofetuin (AF) is expected to allow noninvasive and quantitative assessments of the ASGPr status in functioning hepatocytes before and after the transplant. Six new constructs of (125)I-, (99m)Tc-, (153)Gd-, and (111)In-radiolabeled AF with distinct stabilities and clearance rates were prepared and evaluated in vitro in mice, rat, porcine, and human hepatocytes, and in vivo in mice and rats. The blood and organ clearance rates, as well as liver and spleen uptake, were measured. Even extensive chemical modifications of AF with poly-l-lysine and various chelating agents do not appear to diminish AF's binding to ASGPr. Binding to isolated hepatocytes and the in vivo liver uptake studies indicate unimpaired functional activity of AF as evidenced by the rapid (<10 min) and nearly complete hepatic extraction of AF constructs from the systemic circulation. The catabolic processing and elimination of AF constructs from liver depend on the chemical modification used in the preparation of a given reagent. Radioiodinated AF has by far the shortest postabsorption (5.1 min +/- 0.05 min) and elimination half-lives (2.8 +/- 0.06 h) in liver. In comparison, the AF construct prepared by conjugation of DTPA- and 2-iminothiolane-substituted p-Lys with N-sulfosuccinimidyl 4-(p-maleimidophenyl)butyrate (SMPB)-modified AF (AF-SMPB-Traut-p-Lys-((111)In-DTPA)(20)(-)(30)) has a hepatic postabsorption time of 9.1 +/- 0.1 min and an elimination half-life of 44.3 +/- 3.08 h, whereas [(99m)Tc]technetium-labeled AF appears to be permanently retained in liver. These differences in rates of liver uptake and clearance of catabolized radiolabeled AF can be used to determine functional activity of liver and transplanted hepatocytes.
"An example of this approach is the ability to determine and quantitate the risks of intrapulmonary shunting of transplanted cells via portosystemic collaterals. Moreover, transplanted cells may be localized in extrahepatic sites by imaging of hepatic receptor function, e.g., asialoglycoprotein receptor as has been shown in mice and rats . For longer-term tracking of transplanted cells, molecular imaging methods have also been developed. "
"Natural ASGPR ligands have been shown to specifically accumulate in liver in vivo following, for example, intravenous administration of radio-iodinated asialorosomucoid in rats ,111In labelled asialofetuin in mice and rats  and liposomes decorated with asialofetuin in mice . Here we show, using microSPECT/CT imaging and biodistribution studies, striking differences between the distribution of the ASGPR specific dAb DOM26h-196-61 and the VHD2 isotype control dAb following radio labelling with 111In, with up to 20% of the injected dose of DOM26h-196-61 distributing to the liver 3 hours after intravenous administration. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interferon alpha (IFNα) is used for the treatment of hepatitis C infection and whilst efficacious it is associated with multiple adverse events including reduced leukocyte, erythrocyte, and platelet counts, fatigue, and depression. These events are most likely caused by systemic exposure to interferon. We therefore hypothesise that targeting the therapeutic directly to the intended site of action in the liver would reduce exposure in blood and peripheral tissue and hence improve the safety and tolerability of IFNα therapy. We genetically fused IFN to a domain antibody (dAb) specific to a hepatocyte restricted antigen, asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR). Our results show that the murine IFNα2 homolog (mIFNα2) fused to an ASGPR specific dAb, termed DOM26h-196-61, could be expressed in mammalian tissue culture systems and retains the desirable biophysical properties and activity of both fusion partners when measured . Furthermore a clear increase in targeting of the liver by mIFNα2-ASGPR dAb fusion protein, compared to that observed with either unfused mIFNα2 or mIFNα2 fused to an isotype control dAb VD2 (which does not bind ASGPR) was demonstrated using microSPECT imaging. We suggest that these findings may be applicable in the development of a liver-targeted human IFN molecule with improved safety and patient compliance in comparison to the current standard of care, which could ultimately be used as a treatment for human hepatitis virus infections.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e57263. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0057263 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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