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Abstract #1028

A gene reporter detected using MRI measurements of reporter-mediated increases in transmembrane water exchange

Franz Schilling1, Susana Ros1, De-En Hu1, Paula D'Santos1, Sarah McGuire1, Richard Mair1, Alan Wright1, Elizabeth Mannion1, Robin J.M. Franklin2, André A. Neves1, and Kevin M. Brindle1

1Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge

Non-invasive imaging of gene expression can be used to track cells in vivo but often requires the addition of an exogenous contrast agent that may have limited tissue access. We show that the urea transporter (UT-B) can be used as a gene reporter, where reporter expression was detected using 1H MRI measurements of UT-B-mediated increases in plasma membrane water exchange. AXR values measured in UT-B-expressing HEK cell xenografts, were significantly higher compared with non-expressing controls. Transduction of rat brain cells with a lentiviral vector expressing UT-B resulted in a ≈ 2-fold increase in AXR at the site of virus injection.

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