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- Open Access
In vivo detection and treatment of ischemia-induced cardiac apoptosis using an MRI-detectable molecular probe and an alpha-adrenergic receptor agonist
© Lam et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012
- Published: 1 February 2012
- Ischemic Cardiomyopathy
- Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide
- Post Myocardial Infarction
- Apoptotic Cell Population
- Cardiac Apoptosis
A novel anti-apoptotic alpha-adrenergic agonist preserves left ventricular ejection fraction in mice following myocardial infarction. This therapeutic effect is able to be detected and quantified non-invasively, using T2* signal loss assessment of an Annexin-SPIO molecular apoptosis probe.
Myocardial infarction (MI) leads to cardiomyopathy through a combination of programmed cell death (re: apoptosis) and necrotic cell death. The relative contribution of apoptosis to ischemic cardiomyopathy and the effect of targeting apoptosis specifically to prevent MI-induced damage is unknown. Our laboratory previously developed and validated an in vivo, MRI-detectable apoptosis probe. Annexin-V (ANX), which binds to cells in the earliest stages of apoptosis, was conjugated to superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles, allowing for the non-invasive detection of early apoptotic cell populations (ANX-SPIO r1: 8.6 ± 0.61 mM-1 s-1 and r2: 326 ± 16 mM-1 s-1). To test the effect of apoptosis reversal in an MI model, we employed A61603 (A6), an α1-adrenergic receptor agonist, which was previously shown to rescue cardiac cells from Doxorubicin-induced cardiac apoptosis through activation of the cardio-protective ERK pathway. Our hypothesis is that A6 therapy will protect against MI-induced cardiomyopathy, and that cardiac MRI of systemic ANX-SPIO will detect and longitudinally monitor this therapeutic effect in vivo.
Mice underwent MI (via LAD ligation) along with a subcutaneous pump implant that delivered A6 or vehicle (VEH) solution at a rate of 10 ng/kg/day over a course of two weeks. Cardiac MRI (CMR) was performed at 2 days, 1 week, and 2 weeks post MI. ANX-SPIO was delivered via tail vein one day prior to CMR to simultaneously assess left ventricular function and apoptosis (using T2* signal loss as a marker of apoptotic activity) in vivo.
These results suggest that cardiomyocyte apoptosis is a prominent contributor to the functional impairment of ischemic cardiomyopathy and that A6-mediated cardioprotection from MI-induced apoptosis preserves cardiac function. Moreover, ANX-SPIO can non-invasively detect and monitor A6’s therapeutic effect longitudinally.
NIH-NHLBI K08 (RD), R01 (PY).
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.