Doctor of Philosophy, Wuhan University (2015)
Bachelor of Medicine, Wuhan University (2009)
Zhen Cheng, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
At present, (64)Cu(II) labeled tracers including (64)CuCl2 have been widely applied in the research of molecular imaging and therapy. Human copper transporter 1 (hCTR1) is the major high affinity copper influx transporter in mammalian cells, and specially responsible for the transportation of Cu(I) not Cu(II). Thus, we investigated the feasible application of (64)Cu(I) for PET imaging. (64)Cu(II) was reduced to (64)Cu(I) with the existence of sodium L-ascorbate, DL-Dithiothreitol or cysteine. Cell uptake and efflux assay was investigated using B16F10 and A375 cell lines, respectively. Small animal PET and biodistribution studies were performed in both B16F10 and A375 tumor-bearing mice. Compared with (64)Cu(II), (64)Cu(I) exhibited higher cellular uptake by melanoma, which testified CTR1 specially influx of Cu(I). However, due to oxidation reaction in vivo, no significant difference between (64)Cu(I) and (64)Cu(II) was observed through PET images and biodistribution. Additionally, radiation absorbed doses for major tissues of human were calculated based on the mouse biodistribution. Radiodosimetry calculations for (64/67)Cu(I) and (64/67)Cu(II) were similar, which suggested that although melanoma were with high radiation absorbed doses, high radioactivity accumulation by liver and kidney should be noticed for the further application. Thus, (64)Cu(I) should be further studied to evaluate it as a PET imaging radiotracer.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-02691-3
View details for PubMedID 28566692
Fluorescence imaging in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II) allows visualization of deep anatomical features with an unprecedented degree of clarity. NIR-II fluorophores draw from a broad spectrum of materials spanning semiconducting nanomaterials to organic molecular dyes, yet unfortunately all water-soluble organic molecules with >1,000 nm emission suffer from low quantum yields that have limited temporal resolution and penetration depth. Here, we report tailoring the supramolecular assemblies of protein complexes with a sulfonated NIR-II organic dye (CH-4T) to produce a brilliant 110-fold increase in fluorescence, resulting in the highest quantum yield molecular fluorophore thus far. The bright molecular complex allowed for the fastest video-rate imaging in the second NIR window with ∼50-fold reduced exposure times at a fast 50 frames-per-second (FPS) capable of resolving mouse cardiac cycles. In addition, we demonstrate that the NIR-II molecular complexes are superior to clinically approved ICG for lymph node imaging deep within the mouse body.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms15269
View details for Web of Science ID 000401626200001
View details for PubMedID 28524850
The rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques that lead to stroke and myocardial infarction may be induced by macrophage infiltration and augmented by the expression of integrin αvβ3. Indeed, atherosclerotic angiogenesis may be a promising marker of inflammation. In this study, an engineered integrin αvβ3-targeting PET probe, (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A, derived from a divalent knottin miniprotein was evaluated in a mouse model for carotid atherosclerotic plaques.Atherosclerotic plaques in BALB/C mice, maintained on a high-fat diet, were induced with streptozotocin injection and carotid artery ligation and verified by MR imaging. Knottin 3-4A was synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis chemistry and coupled to 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (NOTA) before radiolabeling with (64)Cu. PET probe stability in mouse serum was evaluated. Mice with carotid atherosclerotic plaques were injected via the tail vein with (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A or (18)F-FDG, followed by small-animal PET/CT imaging at different time points. Receptor targeting specificity of the probe was verified by coinjection of c(RGDyK) administered in molar excess. Subsequently, carotid artery dissection and immunofluorescence staining were performed to evaluate target expression.(64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A was synthesized in high radiochemical purity and yield and demonstrated molecular stability in both phosphate-buffered saline and mouse serum at 4 h. Small-animal PET/CT showed that (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A accumulated at significantly higher levels in the neovasculature of carotid atherosclerotic plaques (7.41 ± 1.44 vs. 0.67 ± 0.23 percentage injected dose/gram, P < 0.05) than healthy or normal vessels at 1 h after injection. (18)F-FDG also accumulated in atherosclerotic lesions at 0.5 and 1 h after injection but at lower plaque-to-normal tissue ratios than (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A. For example, plaque-to-normal carotid artery ratios for (18)F-FDG and (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A at 1 h after injection were 3.75 and 14.71 (P < 0.05), respectively. Furthermore, uptake of (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A in atherosclerotic plaques was effectively blocked (∼90% at 1 h after injection) by coinjection of c(RGDyK). Immunostaining confirmed integrin αvβ3 expression in both the infiltrating macrophages and the neovasculature of atherosclerotic plaques.(64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A demonstrates specific accumulation in carotid atherosclerotic plaques in which macrophage infiltration and angiogenesis are responsible for elevated integrin αvβ3 levels. Therefore, (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A may demonstrate clinical utility as a PET probe for atherosclerosis imaging or for the evaluation of therapies used to treat atherosclerosis.
View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.155176
View details for Web of Science ID 000355570300026
View details for PubMedID 25908832
Small-molecule-based multimodal and multifunctional imaging probes play prominent roles in biomedical research and have high clinical translation ability. A novel multimodal imaging platform using base-catalyzed double addition of thiols to a strained internal alkyne such as bicyclo[6.1.0]nonyne has been established in this study, thus allowing highly selective assembly of various functional units in a protecting-group-free manner. Using this molecular platform, novel dual-modality (PET and NIRF) uPAR-targeted imaging probe: (64)Cu-CHS1 was prepared and evaluated in U87MG cells and tumor-bearing mice models. The excellent PET/NIRF imaging characteristics such as good tumor uptake (3.69%ID/g at 2 h post-injection), high tumor contrast, and specificity were achieved in the small-animal models. These attractive imaging properties make (64)Cu-CHS1 a promising probe for clinical use.
View details for DOI 10.1002/anie.201500941
View details for Web of Science ID 000354255400031
View details for PubMedID 25800807