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      Quantitative Whole Body Biodistribution of Fluorescent-Labeled Agents by Non-Invasive Tomographic Imaging

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          When small molecules or proteins are injected into live animals, their physical and chemical properties will significantly affect pharmacokinetics, tissue penetration, and the ultimate routes of metabolism and clearance. Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) offers the ability to non-invasively image and quantify temporal changes in fluorescence throughout the major organ systems of living animals, in a manner analogous to traditional approaches with radiolabeled agents. This approach is best used with biotherapeutics (therapeutic antibodies, or other large proteins) or large-scaffold drug-delivery vectors, that are minimally affected by low-level fluorophore conjugation. Application to small molecule drugs should take into account the significant impact of fluorophore labeling on size and physicochemical properties, however, the presents studies show that this technique is readily applied to small molecule agents developed for far-red (FR) or near infrared (NIR) imaging. Quantification by non-invasive FMT correlated well with both fluorescence from tissue homogenates as well as with planar (2D) fluorescence reflectance imaging of excised intact organs (r 2 = 0.996 and 0.969, respectively). Dynamic FMT imaging (multiple times from 0 to 24 h) performed in live mice after the injection of four different FR/NIR-labeled agents, including immunoglobulin, 20–50 nm nanoparticles, a large vascular imaging agent, and a small molecule integrin antagonist, showed clear differences in the percentage of injected dose per gram of tissue (%ID/g) in liver, kidney, and bladder signal. Nanoparticles and IgG1 favored liver over kidney signal, the small molecule integrin-binding agent favored rapid kidney and bladder clearance, and the vascular agent, showed both liver and kidney clearance. Further assessment of the volume of distribution of these agents by fluorescent volume added information regarding their biodistribution and highlighted the relatively poor extravasation into tissue by IgG1. These studies demonstrate the ability of quantitative FMT imaging of FR/NIR agents to non-invasively visualize and quantify the biodistribution of different agents over time.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Fluorescence imaging with near-infrared light: new technological advances that enable in vivo molecular imaging.

          A recent development in biomedical imaging is the non-invasive mapping of molecular events in intact tissues using fluorescence. Underpinning to this development is the discovery of bio-compatible, specific fluorescent probes and proteins and the development of highly sensitive imaging technologies for in vivo fluorescent detection. Of particular interest are fluorochromes that emit in the near infrared (NIR), a spectral window, whereas hemoglobin and water absorb minimally so as to allow photons to penetrate for several centimetres in tissue. In this review article we concentrate on optical imaging technologies used for non-invasive imaging of the distribution of such probes. We illuminate the advantages and limitations of simple photographic methods and turn our attention to fluorescence-mediated molecular tomography (FMT), a technique that can three-dimensionally image gene expression by resolving fluorescence activation in deep tissues. We describe theoretical specifics, and we provide insight into its in vivo capacity and the sensitivity achieved. Finally, we discuss its clinical feasibility.
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            Biodistribution mechanisms of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in health and disease.

            The monoclonal antibody market continues to witness an impressive rate of growth and has become the leading source of expansion in the biologic segment within the pharmaceutical industry. Currently marketed monoclonal antibodies target a diverse array of antigens. These antigens are distributed in a variety of tissues such as tumors, lungs, synovial fluid, psoriatic plaques, and lymph nodes. As the concentration of drug at the proximity of the biological receptor determines the magnitude of the observed pharmacological responses, a significant consideration in effective therapeutic application of monoclonal antibodies is a thorough understanding of the processes that regulate antibody biodistribution. Monoclonal antibody distribution is affected by factors such as molecular weight, blood flow, tissue and tumor heterogeneity, structure and porosity, target antigen density, turnover rate, and the target antigen expression profile.
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              In vivo imaging of protease activity in arthritis: a novel approach for monitoring treatment response.

              Sensitive noninvasive strategies for monitoring treatment response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) would be valuable for facilitating appropriate therapy and dosing, evaluating clinical outcome, and developing more effective drugs. Because different proteases are highly up-regulated in RA and contribute significantly to joint destruction, in the present study we investigated whether such enzymes are suitable in vivo imaging biomarkers for early evaluation of treatment response in a murine model of RA. Using a protease-activated near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging "smart" probe, we examined the presence and distribution of fluorescence in arthritic joints of mice with collagen-induced arthritis by both noninvasive fluorescence imaging and histology. Proteases that target the Lys-Lys cleavage site, including cathepsin B, activate probe fluorescence. Treatment monitoring data were obtained following methotrexate (MTX) therapy. Twenty-four hours after intravenous injection of the protease sensor, affected toes and paws of arthritic mice showed significantly higher fluorescence intensity than did toes and paws of healthy mice. Fluorescence from the protease probe and cathepsin B antibody histologic staining were localized in the vast majority of cells in the inflamed synovium. In arthritic animals treated with MTX (35 mg of MTX/kg 48 hours prior to probe injection), a significantly lower fluorescent signal (inflamed paws 50%, inflamed toes 70%) was observed as compared with untreated arthritic animals. Protease-activated NIRF probes are sensitive means of imaging the presence of target enzymes in arthritic joints and can be used for early monitoring of treatment response to antirheumatic drugs such as MTX.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                22 June 2011
                : 6
                : 6
                Department of Applied Biology, PerkinElmer, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                Genentech, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: JDP. Performed the experiments: KOV CC. Analyzed the data: KOV JDP. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: KOV CC JDP. Wrote the paper: KOV JDP.

                Vasquez et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 12
                Research Article
                Model Organisms
                Animal Models
                Drugs and Devices
                Drug Absorption
                Drug Distribution
                Drug Excretion
                Drug Research and Development
                Veterinary Science
                Animal Types
                Laboratory Animals
                Veterinary Pharmacology



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