Method For Specific Detection of Plaque Angiogenesis in the Cholesterol-fed Apolipoprotein-E Deficient Mouse With MR Fluorine Spectroscopy of Integrin-Targeted Perfluorocarbon Nanoparticles at 11.7T
Waters E, Chen J, Allen J, Lanza G, Wickline S, Zhang H
Washington University in Saint Louis, Washington University School of Medicine
We developed a novel method using high-field MR spectroscopy to detect angiogenesis in aortic atherosclerotic plaques of Apolipoprotein-E deficient mice. We used a targeted perfluorocarbon-based nanoparticle contrast agent, which binds specifically to &[alpha]v&[beta]3 integrin (expressed on neovasculature endothelium). Fluorine MRS was performed at 11.7T on excised aortas of mice treated with nanoparticles and then euthanized, and signal was readily apparent. Localized spectroscopy showed stronger fluorine signal from the aortic arch than the descending aorta, consistent with pathological observation of disease distribution. This method enables definitive detection of angiogenesis in atherosclerotic plaques, and is sensitive to spatial variations in disease extent.