Martin Rausch

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (45)158.11 Total impact

  • Molecular imaging and biology: MIB: the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging 07/2009; · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fingolimod (FTY720) represents the first in a new class of immune-modulators whose target is sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors. It was first identified by researchers at Kyoto University and Yoshitomi Pharmaceutical as a chemical derivative of the ascomycete metabolite ISP-1 (myriocin). Unlike its natural product parent, FTY720 does not interfere with sphingolipid biosynthesis. Instead, its best characterized mechanism of action upon in vivo phosphorylation, leading to the active principle FTY720-P, is the rapid and reversible inhibition of lymphocyte egress from peripheral lymph nodes. As a consequence of S1P1 receptor internalization, tissue-damaging T-cells can not recirculate and infiltrate sites of inflammation such as the central nervous system (CNS). Furthermore, FTY720-P modulation of S1P receptor signaling also enhances endothelial barrier function. Due to its mode of action, FTY720 effectively prevents transplant rejection and is active in various autoimmune disease models. The most striking efficacy is in the multiple sclerosis (MS) model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, which has now been confirmed in the clinic. FTY720 demonstrated promising results in Phase II trials and recently entered Phase III in patients with relapsing MS. Emerging evidence suggests that its efficacy in the CNS extends beyond immunomodulation to encompass other aspects of MS pathophysiology, including an influence on the blood-brain-barrier and glial repair mechanisms that could ultimately contribute to restoration of nerve function. FTY720 may represent a potent new therapeutic modality in MS, combined with the benefit of oral administration.
    Fortschritte der Arzneimittelforschung. Progress in drug research. Progrès des recherches pharmaceutiques 02/2008; 66:361, 363-81.
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    ABSTRACT: T cells and macrophages directed against myelin proteins orchestrate the inflammation process in multiple sclerosis (MS) and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). So far, assessment of macrophages infiltration or structural alterations has been achieved by in vivo imaging. In this work, we show the infiltration of Cy5.5-labeled T lymphocytes into the brains of EAE rats by reflectance near-infrared fluorescence imaging. T lymphocytes were labeled with Cy5.5-Tat and administered intravenously to naïve or EAE animals. The highest fluorescence signal was observed for EAE animals, which received myelin-activated T cells during the acute phase of the disease. The temporal profile of fluorescence in this group paralleled the pattern of neurological impairment during the acute phase, the remittance and first relapses of EAE. No disease specific fluorescence pattern was observed for EAE animals, which received naïve T cells. However, uptake of Cy5.5-Tat by scavenger cells (e.g. macrophages) following death of labeled T cells in vivo prevents prolonged longitudinal studies. Our work demonstrates that Cy5.5-Tat labeling of T cells is suitable for in vivo fluorescence imaging of inflammation initiation in the EAE model. This approach may particularly be useful for evaluation of novel anti-inflammatory therapies.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 06/2007; 323(1):65-77. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To characterize tumor vascularization by dynamic-contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI using low and medium molecular weight paramagnetic contrast agents (CA) and inversion recovery (IR) true fast imaging with steady state precession (TrueFISP) in tumor-bearing rats and mice. T(1) mapping was performed using IR True FISP in phantoms and in vivo at 4.7 T and validated with a segmented IR gradient-echo (IR GE) method. CA concentration in DCE-MRI studies in vivo was calculated from time-series T(1) maps using the CAs GdDOTA and P792 (low and medium molecular weight, respectively). Standard vascular input functions (VIFs) were measured in the jugular veins and were used for modeling of the CA kinetics with a two-compartment model. In rat breast tumors, vascular permeability (transfer constant K(trans)), fractional plasma volume v(p), and fractional leakage space v(e) were quantified and parametric maps were generated. The IR TrueFISP T(1) was slightly underestimated in phantoms and overestimated in vivo (10%) with respect to IR GE. VIFs showed only small interindividual variation. Mean K(trans) values were 0.062 +/- 0.017 min(-1) for GdDOTA and 0.015 +/- 0.005 min(-1) for P792 (N = 12). Mean v(e) and v(p) values were 0.15 +/- 0.04 (0.09 +/- 0.03) and 0.04 +/- 0.01 (0.03 +/- 0.01) for GdDOTA (P792). DCE-MRI with IR TrueFISP provided absolute values for K(trans), v(p), and v(e). Direct comparison between GdDOTA and P792 revealed significant differences in the VIF, model-fit-quality, permeability, leakage space, and plasma volume. The larger molecular weight CA P792 appears to be better for measuring tumor vascular parameters.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 10/2006; 24(3):646-56. · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system whose pathological mechanisms are still not completely understood. Physical as well as cognitive deterioration are consequences within the disease process that have an extensive impact on the patient's quality of life. Therefore, understanding the functional background of spontaneous as well as induced remission is of high relevance. Studies on visualization of therapeutic effects of pharmacological or cognitive treatment by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are still rare. From fMRI studies on focal brain lesions hypotheses on mechanisms of brain reorganization can be derived. This contribution will first give an overview of the existing studies using fMRI in MS, on cognitive decline, on cognitive treatment studies and its therapeutic effects on behavioural readouts in MS, and on therapy-induced brain plasticity and its possible visualization by fMRI. Results of a study on correlating the effects of cognitive training with changes in brain organization in patients with mild to severe cognitive impairment will be reported.
    Journal of Physiology-Paris 07/2006; 99(4-6):455-62. · 0.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In vivo tracking of macrophage migration is feasible by labeling cells with ultra-small particles of iron oxide (USPIO). It is demonstrated that it is possible to monitor distinct patterns of macrophage migration during the early states of inflammation in a rodent model of chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). As previous MRI studies showed that EAE inflammation processes are clearly linked to macrophage infiltration in the brain, a longitudinal protocol for macrophage visualization was designed, where USPIOs were injected repeatedly during the acute phase of the disease, the remitting phase and the first relapse. In addition to USPIO-enhanced MRI, blood-brain barrier (BBB) damage, magnetization transfer ratios (MTRs) and neurological impairment were assessed as classical markers for central nervous system (CNS) inflammation and tissue damage. During the acute phase, animals showed severe paralysis of the hind paws, intense accumulation of macrophages in brain tissue and some diffuse patterns of BBB disruption. While USPIO-accumulation completely disappeared after the acute phase, residual damage of the BBB remained detectable in some lesions during the remitting phase. During the first relapse, the accumulation of USPIO-loaded cells was less pronounced but still detectable. The time course of MTR, which is used as a marker for myelin loss, was linked to the infiltration of macrophages during the acute phase.
    NMR in Biomedicine 03/2006; 19(1):101-7. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Visualization and quantification of inflammatory processes is of high importance for early diagnosis of a multitude of diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using iron oxide (FeO) nanoparticles as contrast agents allows the study of macrophage infiltration during inflammation in a variety of tissues. Macrophages are effectors of the immune response, their appearance being orchestrated by activated T lymphocytes. Therefore, tracking of labeled T lymphocytes, which initiate the immune process, should enable earlier detection of tissue inflammation. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of specifically labeling harvested T cells by using dextran-coated FeO nanoparticles and commonly available transfection agents (TAs). Physicochemical properties of the newly formed FeO/TA vesicles were determined as well as their cell toxicity and their T cell activation potential. The labeling efficiency of each FeO/TA combination was evaluated by measuring the transverse MRI relaxation rate R(2) by X-ray spectroscopy and magnetic selection. Toxicity and labeling efficacy differed significantly among TAs. The best results were achieved by using polyamine TAs and in particular by using poly-l-lysine at a concentration of 1.5 microg/mL administered in combination with 22.5 microg iron/mL. By using this protocol, up to 60% of harvested T cells could be labeled. Microscopic investigation revealed FeO/TA nanoparticles not only localized within the cytoplasma of the cells but also sticking to the outer membrane surface.
    Molecular Imaging 01/2006; 5(2):93-104. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stroke is a prevalent and devastating disorder, and no treatment is currently available to restore lost neuronal function after stroke. One unique therapy that improves recovery after stroke is neutralization of the neurite inhibitory protein Nogo-A. Here, we show, in a clinically relevant model, improved functional recovery and brain reorganization in the aged and adult rat when delayed anti-Nogo-A therapy is given after ischemic injury. These results support the efficacy of Nogo-A neutralization as treatment for ischemic stroke, even in the aged animal and after a 1-week delay, and implicate neuronal plasticity from unlesioned areas of the central nervous system as a mechanism for recovery.
    Annals of Neurology 01/2006; 58(6):950-3. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal cord trauma leads to loss of motor, sensory and autonomic functions below the lesion. Recovery is very restricted, due in part to neurite growth inhibitory myelin proteins, in particular Nogo-A. Two neutralizing antibodies against Nogo-A were used to study recovery and axonal regeneration after spinal cord lesions. Three months old Lewis rats were tested in sensory-motor tasks (open field locomotion, crossing of ladder rungs and narrow beams, the CatWalk(R) runway, reactions to heat and von Frey hairs). A T-shaped lesion was made at T8, and an intrathecal catheter delivered highly purified anti-Nogo-A monoclonal IgGs or unspecific IgGs for 2 weeks. A better outcome in motor behavior was obtained as early as two weeks after lesion in the animals receiving the Nogo-A antibodies. Withdrawal responses to heat and mechanical stimuli were not different between the groups. Histology showed enhanced regeneration of corticospinal axons in the anti-Nogo-A antibody groups. fMRI revealed significant cortical responses to stimulation of the hindpaw exclusively in anti-Nogo-A animals. These results demonstrate that neutralization of the neurite growth inhibitor Nogo-A by intrathecal antibodies leads to enhanced regeneration and reorganization of the injured CNS, resulting in improved recovery of compromised functions in the absence of dysfunctions.
    Annals of Neurology 12/2005; 58(5):706-19. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Assessment of tumour vascularity may characterize malignancy as well as predict responsiveness to anti-angiogenic therapy. Non-invasive measurement of tumour perfusion and blood vessel permeability assessed as the transfer constant, K(trans), can be provided by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI). Using the orthotopic murine tumour model B16/BL6 melanoma, the small contrast agent GdDOTA (DOTAREM(R); Guerbet, Paris) was applied to assess the vascular transfer constant, K(trans), and interstitial leakage space, whereas intravascular iron oxide nanoparticles (Endorem(R); Guerbet, Paris) were used to detect relative tumour blood volume (rTBV), and in one experiment blood flow index (BFI). No correlations were observed between these four parameters (r(2) always <0.05). The B16/BL6 primary tumour and lymph-node cervical (neck) metastases produced high levels of the permeability/growth factor, VEGF. To probe the model, the novel VEGF receptor (VEGF-R) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, PTK787/ZK222584 (PTK/ZK) was tested for anti-tumour efficacy and its effects on DCE-MRI measured parameters of tumour vascularity. Data from the non-invasive measure of tumour vascularity were compared with a histological measurement of vasculature using the DNA-staining dye H33342. PTK/ZK inhibited growth of the primary and, particularly, cervical tumour metastases following chronic treatment for 2 weeks (50 or 100 mg/kg daily) of 1-week-old tumours, or with 1 week of treatment against more established (2-week-old) tumours. After chronic treatment with PTK/ZK, DCE-MRI detected significant decreases in K(trans) and interstitial leakage space, but not rTBV of both primary tumours and cervical metastases. Histological data at this time-point showed a significant decrease in blood vessel density of the cervical metastases but not the primary tumours. However, in the cervical metastases, the mean blood vessel width was increased by 38%, suggesting overall no marked change in blood volume. After acute (2-4 day) treatment, DCE-MRI of the cervical metastases demonstrated a significant decrease in K(trans) and interstitial leakage space and also in the initial area under the enhancement curve for GdDOTA (IAUC), but no change in the rTBV or BFI. Thus, significant changes could be detected in the DCE-MRI measurement of tumour uptake of a small contrast agent prior to changes in tumour size, which suggests that DCE-MRI could be applied in the clinic as a rapid and sensitive biomarker for the effects of VEGF-R inhibition on tumour blood vessel permeability and thus may provide an early marker for eventual tumour response.
    NMR in Biomedicine 09/2005; 18(5):308-21. · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 08/2005; 25. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Owing to the neuro-vascular coupling, measurement of changes in regional cerebral blood flow and blood volume (rCBV) can be used as surrogates reflecting the effects of central nervous system active drugs on neural transmission. As most such drugs are administered orally or intramuscularly and, in many cases, beneficial effects due to drug treatment can be observed only after chronic administration for days or weeks, the evaluation of drug efficacy requires the development of acquisition and analysis tools that allow for comparison of imaging data sets obtained in multiple sessions and for multiple subjects. In the present study, high-resolution susceptibility contrast MR perfusion imaging using a super-paramagnetic contrast agent (CA) was applied to study the effect of a single oral administration of the acetylcholine-esterase inhibitor rivastigmine (Exelon) on rCBV in rats. rCBV maps were calculated from two T2-weighted three-dimensional fast-spin-echo scans recorded before and after the injection of the CA, respectively. All MRI data sets were mapped to a reference data set obtained from a normal male Sprague-Dawley rat using an automated co-registration procedure prior to the analysis for drug effects. Rivastigmine was orally administered at doses of 2, 4 or 8 mg/kg 1 h prior to the rCBV measurement. Rivastigmine increased rCBV in several brain areas including cortex, caudate putamen and hippocampus. The observed effects were dose-dependent and the changes reached the order of 5-12% as compared with baseline levels. Vehicle-treated animals showed no significant alterations of blood volume, demonstrating the reproducibility and stability of rCBV measurements.
    NMR in Biomedicine 07/2005; 18(4):260-8. · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Markus Rudin, Nicolau Beckmann, Martin Rausch
    Fortschritte der Arzneimittelforschung. Progress in drug research. Progrès des recherches pharmaceutiques 02/2005; 62:185-255.
  • Markus Rudin, Martin Rausch, Markus Stoeckli
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    ABSTRACT: Noninvasive conventional imaging methods are established technologies in modern drug discovery and development providing valuable morphological, physiological, and metabolic information to characterize disease phenotypes, to evaluate the efficacy of therapy and to identify and develop potential biomarkers for clinical drug evaluation. The development of target-specific or molecular imaging has added a new dimension: molecular events such as the target expression, the drug-target interaction, or the activation of signal transduction pathways can be studied in the intact organism with high spatial and temporal resolution. Molecular imaging is inherently a multimodality approach. In this article, we review the role of molecular imaging for drug discovery and development focusing on nonnuclear imaging methods, i.e., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical imaging techniques based on fluorescence and bioluminescence readouts. Examples discussed are direct visualization of target expression using target-specific ligands or reporter genes, pathway imaging, and cell-trafficking studies.
    Molecular Imaging & Biology 01/2005; 7(1):5-13. · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: d-Serine has been proposed as an endogenous modulator at the co-agonist glycine-binding site of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. There is still some debate as to whether this site is saturated in vivo, but it seems likely that this depends on regional differences in local glycine or d-serine concentrations. In order to identify areas where the co-agonist site was not fully activated in vivo, we studied the effect of intraperitoneal d-serine administration in the rat brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using contrast agent injection, the variations in the relative cerebral blood volume (CBVrel) in several regions of interest were evaluated. d-Serine (50 mg/kg) elicited a significant statistical increase in the CBVrel in the hippocampus. This effect was inhibited by the specific full antagonist of the co-agonist glycine site L-701,324 indicating that the hippocampal activation occurred through the binding of the agonist d-serine to the glycine-binding site of NMDA receptors. This result demonstrates that in the hippocampus, the co-agonist sites of NMDA receptors are not endogenously saturated under our experimental conditions, suggesting an important role of d-serine in the modulation of receptor function in the hippocampus.
    Neuroscience Letters 01/2005; 380(1-2):111-5. · 2.03 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 01/2005; 25. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The long blood circulating time and the progressive macrophage uptake in inflammatory tissues of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) particles are 2 properties of major importance for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pathologic tissue characterization. This article reviews the proof of principle of applications such as imaging of carotid atherosclerotic plaque, stroke, brain tumor characterization, or multiple sclerosis. In the human carotid artery, USPIO accumulation in activated macrophages induced a focal drop in signal intensity compared with preinfusion MRI. The USPIO signal alterations observed in ischemic areas of stroke patients is probably related to the visualization of inflammatory macrophage recruitment into human brain infarction since animal experiments in such models demonstrated the internalization of USPIO into the macrophages localized in these areas. In brain tumors, USPIO particles which do not pass the ruptured blood-brain barrier at early times postinjection can be used to assess tumoral microvascular heterogeneity. Twenty-four hours after injection, when the cellular phase of USPIO takes place, the USPIO tumoral contrast enhancement was higher in high-grade than in low-grade tumors. Several experimental studies and a pilot multiple sclerosis clinical trial in 10 patients have shown that USPIO contrast agents can reveal the presence of inflammatory multiple sclerosis lesions. The enhancement with USPIO does not completely overlap with the gadolinium chelate enhancement. While the proof of concept that USPIO can visualize macrophage infiltrations has been confirmed in animals and patients in several applications (carotid atherosclerotic lesions, stroke, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis), larger prospective clinical studies are needed to demonstrate the clinical benefit of using USPIO as an MRI in vivo surrogate marker for brain inflammatory diseases.
    Investigative Radiology 11/2004; 39(10):619-25. · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A prominent hallmark of Alzheimer's disease pathology is cerebral amyloidosis. However, it is not clear how extracellular amyloid-beta peptide (A beta) deposition and amyloid formation compromise brain function and lead to dementia. It has been argued that extracellular amyloid deposition is neurotoxic and/or that soluble A beta oligomers impair synaptic function. Amyloid deposits, by contrast, may affect diffusion properties of the brain interstitium with implications for the transport of endogenous signalling molecules during synaptic and/or extrasynaptic transmission. We have used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to study diffusion properties in brains of young (6-month-old) and aged (25-month-old) APP23 transgenic mice and control littermates. Our results demonstrate that fibrillar amyloid deposits and associated gliosis in brains of aged APP23 transgenic mice are accompanied by a reduction in the apparent diffusion coefficient. This decrease was most pronounced in neocortical areas with a high percentage of congophilic amyloid and was not significant in the caudate putamen, an area with only modest and diffuse amyloid deposition. These findings suggest that extracellular deposition of fibrillar amyloid and/or associated glial proliferation and hypertrophy cause restrictions to interstitial fluid diffusion. Reduced diffusivity within the interstitial space may alter volume transmission and therefore contribute to the cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 09/2004; 20(3):811-7. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the efficacy of FTY720 as a new agent to reduce inflammatory activity in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS) by in vivo macrophage tracking. FTY720 was used for treatment of rats in a model of chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) at an oral dose of 0.3 mg/kg/day. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based on in vivo tracking of macrophages labeled with ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) nanoparticles, immunohistological staining (IHC), and neurological readouts was used to study the burden of disease in treated and untreated animals. While untreated animals showed severe paralysis of the hind paws, intense accumulation of macrophages in brain tissue, and areas of blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, FTY720-treated animals displayed no signs of inflammatory activity or neurological impairment. These observations were made for both acute phase and first relapse. Tracking of macrophages by MRI provides direct evidence of the immunomodulatory efficacy of FTY720 in the EAE model and correlates well with neurological symptoms and histology.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 08/2004; 20(1):16-24. · 2.57 Impact Factor
  • Ernst Schering Research Foundation workshop 02/2004;

Publication Stats

2k Citations
158.11 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2007
    • Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
      • Department of Respiratory Diseases
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001–2006
    • Novartis
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2005
    • ETH Zurich
      • Institute for Biomedical Engineering
      Zürich, ZH, Switzerland
    • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
      • Departamento de Anatomia
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 1996
    • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      • Abteilung für Neurophysiologie
      Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany