Article

Near-infrared fluorescent imaging of tumor apoptosis.

Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.28). 04/2003; 63(8):1936-42.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Noninvasive imaging using radioactive annexin V is an emerging strategy for the assessment of cell death in vivo (F. G. Blankenberg, and H. W. Strauss. Apoptosis, 6: 117-123, 2001.). Therefore, we investigated whether annexin V labeled with the fluorophore Cy5.5 (Cy) could serve as a probe for imaging of tumor apoptosis using near infrared fluorescence (NIRF). We prepared active Cy-annexin (an equimolar dye:protein ratio) that bound to apoptotic Jurkat T cells and an inactive Cy-annexin probe (>2 dyes/mol protein) that did not. Active Cy annexin was used to image a 9L gliosarcoma, constitutively expressing green fluorescent protein marker, and the CR8 variant of Lewis lung carcinoma, stably transfected to express DsRed2. The expression of transfected fluorescent protein provided an indication of tumor margins and a means of defining tumor-associated NIRF signal intensity with both tumor models. Tumors were imaged with and without cyclophosphamide treatment. In both tumor models active Cy-annexin V tumor NIRF signal increased two to three times after the treatment. Tumor NIRF signal developed by 75 min after active Cy-annexin injection and remained for a 20-h observation period. Inactive annexin V was used as a control in the CR8 carcinoma experiments and resulted in a low nonspecific signal. With the 9L gliomosacrcoma model, active Cy-annexin V bound to both tumor cells (Cy-annexin V staining only) and endothelial cells (costained with Cy-annexin V and antibody to the endothelial marker CD31). Our results demonstrate that active Cy-annexin can be used as a NIRF probe to image apoptosis from outside an intact living animal and may provide nonradioactive method of measuring the antiproliferative effects of cancer chemotherapeutic regimens.

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