Marcus R. Makowski1, Ulrike Blume1, Andrea J. Wiethoff1, Christian Jansen1, Joel Lazewatsky2, Simon Robinson2, Rene M. Botnar3
1Kings College London BHF Centre of Research Excellence, Imaging Sciences Division, London, UK; 2Lantheus Medical Imaging, USA; 3Kings College London BHF Centre of Research Excellence, Imaging Sciences Division, UK
The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and ECM remodeling. Elastin is an essential component of the ECM of the arterial vessel wall. Male ApoE -/- mice have been shown to reproducibly develop progressive atherosclerotic plaques in the innominate artery over a short period on a high fat diet (HFD). With the advent of a novel elastin binding contrast agent (BMS -753951) imaging of ECM formation in atherosclerosis has become feasible. In this study, we demonstrate the successful non-invasive assessment of alterations in atherosclerotic plaque size in an ApoE mouse model using serial MRI together with a novel elastin specific contrast agent. Molecular alterations, with regard to elastin formation in atherosclerosis can be differentiated using BMS-753951.