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Abstract #0401

Noninvasive imaging of transgene expression using CEST-MRI

Julien Flament1,2, Jérémy Pépin1, Marianne Maugard1, Mylène Gaudin1, Julien Valette1, and Gilles Bonvento1

1Molecular Imaging Research Center (MIRCen), Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, 2US27, Inserm, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France

Gene therapy often uses viral vectors to insert a therapeutic gene into cells. It is necessary to develop molecular imaging techniques to safely monitor gene expression. We designed a strategy to image expression of a transgene using a genetically engineered CEST reporter. An adeno associated vector encoding for 150 L-arginine residues fused to a fluorophore was produced and injected in the mouse brain. Specific signals were observed in both CEST and fluorescence modalities, demonstrating the possibility to use CEST-based reporter genes to monitor transgene distribution and expression. Such noninvasive imaging modality could be valuable for further developments of gene therapy.

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