Arthritis Imaging Using a Near-Infrared Fluorescence Folate-Targeted Probe

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Arthritis Imaging Using a Near-Infrared Fluorescence Folate-Targeted Probe

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Title: Arthritis Imaging Using a Near-Infrared Fluorescence Folate-Targeted Probe
Author: Chen, Wei-Tsung; Tung, Ching-Hsuan; Mahmood, Umar; Weissleder, Ralph

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Citation: Chen, Wei-Tsung, Umar Mahmood, Ralph Weissleder, and Ching-Hsuan Tung. 2005. Arthritis imaging using a near-infrared fluorescence folate-targeted probe. Arthritis Research & Therapy 7(2): R310-R317.
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Abstract: A recently developed near-infrared fluorescence-labeled folate probe (NIR2-folate) was tested for in vivo imaging of arthritis using a lipopolysaccharide intra-articular injection model and a KRN transgenic mice serum induction mouse model. In the lipopolysaccharide injection model, the fluorescence signal intensity of NIR2-folate (n = 12) and of free NIR2 (n = 5) was compared between lipopolysaccharide-treated and control joints. The fluorescence signal intensity of the NIR2-folate probe at the inflammatory joints was found to be significantly higher than the control normal joints (up to 2.3-fold, P < 0.001). The NIR2-free dye injection group showed a persistent lower enhancement ratio than the NIR2-folate probe injection group. Excessive folic acid was also given to demonstrate a competitive effect with the NIR2-folate. In the KRN serum transfer model (n = 4), NIR2-folate was applied at different time points after serum transfer, and the inflamed joints could be detected as early as 30 hours after arthritogenic antibody transfer (1.8-fold increase in signal intensity). Fluorescence microscopy, histology, and immunohistochemistry validated the optical imaging results. We conclude that in vivo arthritis detection was feasible using a folate-targeted near-infrared fluorescence probe. This receptor-targeted imaging method may facilitate improved arthritis diagnosis and early assessment of the disease progress by providing an in vivo characterization of active macrophage status in inflammatory joint diseases.
Published Version: doi: 10.1186/ar1483
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