Christian Schmithals

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany

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Publications (5)27.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nanoparticle (NP)-based contrast agents that enable high resolution anatomic T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offer the prospect of improving differential diagnosis of liver tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, we investigated the possibility of employing novel non-toxic human serum albumin nanoparticles conjugated with Gd-DTPA and rhodamine 123 (Gd-Rho-HSA-NPs) for the detection of HCC by T1-weighted MRI. In addition, the influence of surface coating of the NPs with poloxamine 908, which alters the absorptive behaviour of NPs and changes their distribution between liver and tumor was examined. MRI of transgenic mice with endogenously formed HCCs following intravenous injection of Gd-Rho-HSA-NPs revealed a strong negative contrast of the tumors. Contrasting of the HCCs by NP-enhanced MRI required less Gd as compared to gadolinium-ethoxybenzyl-dietheylenetriamine pentaacetic acid-enhanced MRI, which currently provides the most sensitive detection of HCC in patients. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that the Gd-Rho-HSA-NPs were localized to macrophages, which were - similar to HCC in patients - fewer in number in HCC as compared to the liver tissue, which is in agreement with the negative contrasting of HCC in Gd-Rho-HSA-NP-enhanced MRI. Poloxamine-coated NPs showed lower accumulation in the tumor macrophages and caused a longer lasting enhancement of the MRI signal. These data indicate that Gd-Rho-HSA-NPs enable sensitive detection of HCC by T1-weighted MRI in mice with endogenous HCC through their uptake by macrophages. Poloxamine coating of the NPs delayed the tumor localization of the NPs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Controlled Release 12/2014; 199. DOI:10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.11.023 · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Iron oxide-containing magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have certain advantages over currently used contrast agents for tumor imaging by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as they offer the possibility of functionalization with ligands and tracers. Functionalized MNPs also may be used for targeted tumor therapy. In the current study nanoparticles (NPs) consisting of recombinant human serum albumin (rHSA) with incorporated hydrophilic (NH4)2Ce(IV)(NO3)6-γ-Fe2O3 particles (CAN maghemite particles) for medical imaging were produced and characterized. For this purpose CAN maghemite particles were incorporated into a rHSA matrix to yield rHSA-NPs. The resulting NPs were analysed by transmission electron microscopy, photon correlation spectroscopy, and atomic absorption. The sizes of the manufactured NP were 170±10nm, and the zeta-potential was -50±3mV. The NPs remained stable when stored after lyophilisation with sucrose 3% [w/v] as a cryoprotector. They showed pro-inflammatory properties without cell and animal toxicity in vivo and were highly contrasting in MRI. In conclusion, this report introduces novel rHSA NP with favourable properties containing iron oxide for detection by MRI.
    Journal of Controlled Release 08/2014; 194. DOI:10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.08.017 · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor visualization by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nanoparticle-based contrast agents may improve the imaging of solid tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In particular, human serum albumin (HSA) nanoparticles appear to be a suitable carrier due to their safety and feasibility of functionalization. In the present study HSA nanoparticles were conjugated with gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) using carbodiimide chemistry. The nanoparticles had a uniform spherical shape and a diameter of 235 ± 19 nm. For better optical visualization in vitro and in vivo, the HSA-Gd nanoparticles were additionally labeled with rhodamine 123. As shown by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry analysis, the fluorescent nanoparticles were readily taken up by Huh-7 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. After 24 h incubation in blood serum, less than 5% of the Gd(III) was released from the particles, which suggests that this nanoparticulate system may be stable in vivo and, therefore, may serve as potentially safe T1 MRI contrast agent for MRI of hepatocellular carcinoma.
    European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics: official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.ejpb.2013.12.010 · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs circulating in the blood, stabilized by complexation with proteins and/or additionally by encapsulation in lipid vesicles, are currently being evaluated as biomarkers. The consequences of their differential association with lipids/vesicles for their stability and use as biomarkers are largely unexplored and are subject of the present study. The levels of a set of selected microRNAs were determined by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR after extraction from sera or vesicle- and non-vesicle fractions prepared from sera. The stability of these microRNAs after incubation with RNase A or RNase inhibitor, an inhibitor of RNase A family enzymes was studied. The levels of microRNA-1 and microRNA-122, but not those of microRNA-16, microRNA-21 and microRNA-142-3p, declined significantly during a 5-h incubation of the sera. RNase inhibitor prevented the loss of microRNAs in serum as well as the degradation of microRNA-122, a microRNA not expressed in blood cells, in whole blood. Stabilization of microRNA-122 was also achieved by hemolysis. Prolonged incubation of the sera led to enrichment of vesicle-associated relative to non-vesicle-associated microRNAs. Vesicle-associated microRNAs were more resistant to RNase A treatment than the respective microRNAs not associated with vesicles. Serum microRNAs showed differential stability upon prolonged incubation. RNase inhibitor might be useful to robustly preserve the pattern of cell-free circulating microRNAs. In the case of microRNAs not expressed in blood cells this can also be achieved by hemolysis. Vesicle-associated microRNAs appeared to be more stable than those not associated with vesicles, which might be useful to disclose additional biomarker properties of miRNAs.
    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e75184. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0075184 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Highly promising preclinical data obtained in cultured cells and in nude mice bearing xenografts contrast with the rather modest clinical efficacy of Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) inhibitors. In the present study, we investigated if Plk1 might be a suitable target in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and if a genetically engineered mouse tumor model that well reflects the tumor cell and micro-environmental features of naturally occurring cancers might be suitable to study anti-Plk1 therapy. Analysis of Plk1 expression in human HCC samples confirmed that HCC express much higher Plk1 levels than the adjacent normal liver tissue. Inhibition of Plk1 by an adenovirus encoding for a short hairpin RNA against Plk1 or by the small-molecule inhibitor BI 2536 reduced the viability of HCC cell lines and inhibited HCC xenograft progression in nude mice. Treatment of transforming growth factor (TGF) α/c-myc bitransgenic mice with BI 2536 during hepatocarcinogenesis reduced the number of dysplastic foci and of Ki-67-positive cells within the foci, indicating diminished tumorigenesis. In contrast, BI 2536 had no significant effect on HCC progression in the transgenic mouse HCC model as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging. Measurement of BI 2536 by mass spectrometry revealed considerably lower BI 2536 levels in HCC compared with the adjacent normal liver tissue. In conclusion, low intratumoral levels are a novel mechanism of resistance to the Plk1 inhibitor BI 2536. Plk1 inhibitors achieving sufficient intratumoral levels are highly promising in HCC treatment.
    Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 05/2012; 14(5):410-9. DOI:10.1596/neo.111366 · 5.40 Impact Factor