All Publications

  • Dynamic CT imaging of volumetric changes in pulmonary nodules correlates with physical measurements of stiffness. Radiotherapy and oncology Lartey, F. M., Rafat, M., Negahdar, M., Malkovskiy, A. V., Dong, X., Sun, X., Li, M., Doyle, T., Rajadas, J., Graves, E. E., Loo, B. W., Maxim, P. G. 2017; 122 (2): 313-318


    A major challenge in CT screening for lung cancer is limited specificity when distinguishing between malignant and non-malignant pulmonary nodules (PN). Malignant nodules have different mechanical properties and tissue characteristics ('stiffness') from non-malignant nodules. This study seeks to improve CT specificity by demonstrating in rats that measurements of volumetric ratios in PNs with varying composition can be determined by respiratory-gated dynamic CT imaging and that these ratios correlate with direct physical measurements of PN stiffness.Respiratory-gated MicroCT images acquired at extreme tidal volumes of 9 rats with PNs from talc, matrigel and A549 human lung carcinoma were analyzed and their volumetric ratios (δ) derived. PN stiffness was determined by measuring the Young's modulus using atomic force microscopy (AFM) for each nodule excised immediately after MicroCT imaging.There was significant correlation (p=0.0002) between PN volumetric ratios determined by respiratory-gated CT imaging and the physical stiffness of the PNs determined from AFM measurements.We demonstrated proof of concept that PN volume changes measured non-invasively correlate with direct physical measurements of stiffness. These results may translate clinically into a means of improving the specificity of CT screening for lung cancer and/or improving individual prognostic assessments based on lung tumor stiffness.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.11.019

    View details for PubMedID 27989402

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5319913

  • Experimental Platform for Ultra-high Dose Rate FLASH Irradiation of Small Animals Using a Clinical Linear Accelerator INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS Schuler, E., Trovati, S., King, G., Lartey, F., Rafat, M., Villegas, M., Praxel, A. J., Loo, B. W., Maxim, P. G. 2017; 97 (1): 195-203
  • Experimental Platform for Ultra-high Dose Rate FLASH Irradiation of Small Animals Using a Clinical Linear Accelerator. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Schüler, E., Trovati, S., King, G., Lartey, F., Rafat, M., Villegas, M., Praxel, A. J., Loo, B. W., Maxim, P. G. 2016


    A key factor limiting the effectiveness of radiation therapy is normal tissue toxicity, and recent preclinical data have shown that ultra-high dose rate irradiation (>50 Gy/s, "FLASH") potentially mitigates this effect. However, research in this field has been strongly limited by the availability of FLASH irradiators suitable for small animal experiments. We present a simple methodologic approach for FLASH electron small animal irradiation with a clinically available linear accelerator (LINAC).We investigated the FLASH irradiation potential of a Varian Clinac 21EX in both clinical mode and after tuning of the LINAC. We performed detailed FLUKA Monte Carlo and experimental dosimetric characterization at multiple experimental locations within the LINAC head.Average dose rates of ≤74 Gy/s were achieved in clinical mode, and the dose rate after tuning exceeded 900 Gy/s. We obtained 220 Gy/s at 1-cm depth for a >4-cm field size with 90% homogeneity throughout a 2-cm-thick volume.We present an approach for using a clinical LINAC for FLASH irradiation. We obtained dose rates exceeding 200 Gy/s after simple tuning of the LINAC, with excellent dosimetric properties for small animal experiments. This will allow for increased availability of FLASH irradiation to the general research community.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.09.018

    View details for PubMedID 27816362

  • The Relationship Between Serial [(18) F]PBR06 PET Imaging of Microglial Activation and Motor Function Following Stroke in Mice MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Lartey, F. M., Ahn, G., Ali, R., Rosenblum, S., Miao, Z., Arksey, N., Shen, B., Colomer, M. V., Rafat, M., Liu, H., Alejandre-Alcazar, M. A., Chen, J. W., Palmer, T., Chin, F. T., Guzman, R., Loo, B. W., Graves, E. 2014; 16 (6): 821-829
  • The relationship between serial [(18)?F]PBR06 PET imaging of microglial activation and motor function following stroke in mice. Molecular imaging and biology Lartey, F. M., Ahn, G., Ali, R., Rosenblum, S., Miao, Z., Arksey, N., Shen, B., Colomer, M. V., Rafat, M., Liu, H., Alejandre-Alcazar, M. A., Chen, J. W., Palmer, T., Chin, F. T., Guzman, R., Loo, B. W., Graves, E. 2014; 16 (6): 821-829


    Using [(18) F]PBR06 positron emission tomography (PET) to characterize the time course of stroke-associated neuroinflammation (SAN) in mice, to evaluate whether brain microglia influences motor function after stroke, and to demonstrate the use of [(18) F]PBR06 PET as a therapeutic assessment tool.Stroke was induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in Balb/c mice (control, stroke, and stroke with poststroke minocycline treatment). [18 F]PBR06 PET/CT imaging, rotarod tests, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed 3, 11, and 22 days poststroke induction (PSI).The stroke group exhibited significantly increased microglial activation, and impaired motor function. Peak microglial activation was 11 days PSI. There was a strong association between microglial activation, motor function, and microglial protein expression on IHC. Minocycline significantly reduced microglial activation and improved motor function by day 22 PSI.[18 F]PBR06 PET imaging noninvasively characterizes the time course of SAN, and shows increased microglial activation is associated with decreased motor function.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-014-0745-0

    View details for PubMedID 24865401

  • PET Imaging of Stroke-Induced Neuroinflammation in Mice Using [F-18]PBR06 MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Lartey, F. M., Ahn, G., Shen, B., Cord, K., Smith, T., Chua, J. Y., Rosenblum, S., Liu, H., James, M. L., Chernikova, S., Lee, S. W., Pisani, L. J., Tirouvanziam, R., Chen, J. W., Palmer, T. D., Chin, F. T., Guzman, R., Graves, E. E., Loo, B. W. 2014; 16 (1): 109-117


    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) radioligand [(18)F]N-fluoroacetyl-N-(2,5-dimethoxybenzyl)-2-phenoxyaniline ([(18)F]PBR06) as a positron emission tomography (PET) imaging biomarker of stroke-induced neuroinflammation in a rodent model.Stroke was induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in Balb/c mice. Dynamic PET/CT imaging with displacement and preblocking using PK111195 was performed 3 days later. PET data were correlated with immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the activated microglial markers TSPO and CD68 and with autoradiography.[(18)F]PBR06 accumulation peaked within the first 5 min postinjection, then decreased gradually, remaining significantly higher in infarct compared to noninfarct regions. Displacement or preblocking with PK11195 eliminated the difference in [(18)F]PBR06 uptake between infarct and noninfarct regions. Autoradiography and IHC correlated well spatially with uptake on PET.[(18)F]PBR06 PET specifically images TSPO in microglial neuroinflammation in a mouse model of stroke and shows promise for imaging and monitoring microglial activation/neuroinflammation in other disease models.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-013-0664-5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329793200014

    View details for PubMedID 23836504

  • Blockade of SDF-1 after irradiation inhibits tumor recurrences of autochthonous brain tumors in rats NEURO-ONCOLOGY Liu, S., Alomran, R., Chernikova, S. B., Lartey, F., Stafford, J., Jang, T., Merchant, M., Zboralski, D., Zoellner, S., Kruschinski, A., Klussmann, S., Recht, L., Brown, J. M. 2014; 16 (1): 21-28


    Background Tumor irradiation blocks local angiogenesis, forcing any recurrent tumor to form new vessels from circulating cells. We have previously demonstrated that the post-irradiation recurrence of human glioblastomas in the brains of nude mice can be delayed or prevented by inhibiting circulating blood vessel-forming cells by blocking the interaction of CXCR4 with its ligand stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1 (CXCL12). In the present study we test this strategy by directly neutralizing SDF-1 in a clinically relevant model using autochthonous brain tumors in immune competent hosts. Methods We used NOX-A12, an l-enantiomeric RNA oligonucleotide that binds and inhibits SDF-1 with high affinity. We tested the effect of this inhibitor on the response to irradiation of brain tumors in rat induced by n-ethyl-N-nitrosourea. Results Rats treated in utero with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea began to die of brain tumors from approximately 120 days of age. We delivered a single dose of whole brain irradiation (20 Gy) on day 115 of age, began treatment with NOX-A12 immediately following irradiation, and continued with either 5 or 20 mg/kg for 4 or 8 weeks, doses and times equivalent to well-tolerated human exposures. We found a marked prolongation of rat life span that was dependent on both drug dose and duration of treatment. In addition we treated tumors only when they were visible by MRI and demonstrated complete regression of the tumors that was not achieved by irradiation alone or with the addition of temozolomide. Conclusions Inhibition of SDF-1 following tumor irradiation is a powerful way of improving tumor response of glioblastoma multiforme.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuonc/not149

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329135900005

    View details for PubMedID 24335554

  • The effects of dietary L-carnitine and gemfibrozil on performance, carcass characteristics, cholesterol and triglycerides in broiler chicks AVIAN BIOLOGY RESEARCH Farrokhyan, P., Bouyeh, M., Lartey, F. M., Seidavi, A. 2014; 7 (3): 160-166
  • Phenylalanine hydroxylase activity and expression in chicks subjected to phenylalanine imbalance or phenylalanine toxicity POULTRY SCIENCE Lartey, F. M., Austic, R. E. 2009; 88 (4): 774-783


    Experiments were performed to investigate the activity of hepatic Phe hydroxylase (PAH) and plasma amino acid concentrations under conditions of Phe imbalance or toxicity in chicks fed on experimental diets from 7 to 14 or 16 d of age. In experiment 1, Phe imbalance was created by adding 10% of a mixture of indispensable amino acids lacking Phe (IAA - Phe) to a basal diet containing 0.46% Phe. The activity of PAH was not significantly affected by the imbalance. Correcting the imbalance by adding 1.12% Phe to the diet prevented the growth impairment and increased the activity of PAH. In experiment 2, growth was reduced by the addition of excess (2%) Phe to the basal diet. Correcting the excess by adding the IAA - Phe to the diet prevented the growth reduction. The activity of PAH was not significantly affected by 2% Phe, but it increased in chicks fed the corrected diet. The levels of PAH mRNA were not affected by the dietary treatments. A factorial arrangement of treatments with 3 dietary levels of Phe (0.46, 1.58, and 2.46%) with or without the IAA - Phe was used in experiment 3. The effects on growth were similar to those of the same treatments in experiments 1 and 2. The addition of Phe significantly increased hepatic PAH activity, but there was no detectable main effect of the IAA - Phe and no interaction. Plasma Phe concentration was increased by dietary Phe and decreased by the IAA - Phe mixture. We conclude that hepatic PAH activity in chicks variably increases in response to Phe or a 10% dietary supplement of indispensable amino acids including Phe but does not increase in response to IAA - Phe when the amino acids are added to a diet that is marginally adequate in Phe. The increased activity does not involve changes in PAH mRNA. The effects of IAA - Phe on plasma Phe concentrations appear to be independent of hepatic PAH activity as measured in vitro.

    View details for DOI 10.3382/ps.2008-00370

    View details for Web of Science ID 000264378300011

    View details for PubMedID 19276420