Volume 11 Supplement 1
7 T MRI of macrophages in mouse carotid atherosclerosis using novel nanoparticle platforms
© Kosuge et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Published: 28 January 2009
Macrophages are important imaging targets for identifying and monitoring high-risk atherosclerotic plaque. Human protein cages and graphite/FeCo core-shell nanocrystals are unique, multi-functional nanoparticle platforms for cellular imaging.
To evaluate 7 T MRI using human ferritin protein cage nanoparticles (HFn) and graphite/FeCo core-shell nanocrystals (CN) for detecting macrophage accumulation in mouse carotid atherosclerosis in vivo.
A macrophage-rich carotid lesion in FVB mice (N = 6) was induced as follows: high fat diet for 4 weeks then diabetes induction by 5 daily intraperitoneal injections of streptozotocin. Two weeks later, we performed carotid ligation of the left common carotid artery. Either one of two different nanoparticles, HFn or CN, was injected into mice via tail vein 2 weeks after carotid ligation (N = 3 for each nanoparticle).
1) HFn-Fe are human ferritin protein cages chemically modified to contain an iron oxide core (dose – 25 mgFe/kg).
2) CN have a FeCo core with a graphite shell, with Cy5.5 also attached for fluorescence imaging (dose – 32.14 μgFe/mouse, 8 nmol Cy5.5/mouse).
MRI at 24 and 48 hours was performed on 7 T MRI scanner (Varian, Inc. Walnut Creek, CA) using a gradient echo sequence (TR/TE = 50/4.2, slice thickness = 0.5 mm, FOV = 3 cm, matrix = 256 × 256, FA = 50, acquisition time = 9 min 55 sec). Accumulation of nanoparticles on MRI was measured as the size of susceptibility artifacts (% reduction of lumen area). After final in vivo MRI, both in situ and ex vivo fluorescence imaging was performed using Maestro™ in vivo imaging system (CRi, Woburn, MA). Perl's iron and immunofluorescence staining was also performed to confirm co-localization of nanoparticles with macrophages.
Both iron oxide protein cage nanoparticles and graphite/FeCo core-shell nanocrystals allow noninvasive MRI of macrophage accumulation in mouse atherosclerosis. These powerful, multi-functional nanoparticles may allow improved noninvasive characterization of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.