A physiological barrier distal to the anatomic blood-brain barrier in a model of transvascular delivery.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Osmotic disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides a method for transvascular delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain. The apparent global delivery of viral-sized iron oxide particles to the rat brain after BBB opening as seen on MR images was compared with the cellular and subcellular location and distribution of the particles. METHODS: Two dextran-coated superparamagnetic monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticle contrast agents, MION and Feridex, were administered intraarterially in rats at 10 mg Fe/kg immediately after osmotic opening of the BBB with hyperosmolar mannitol. After 2 to 24 hours, iron distribution in the brain was evaluated first with MR imaging then by histochemical analysis and electron microscopy to assess perivascular and intracellular distribution. RESULTS: After BBB opening, MR images showed enhancement throughout the disrupted hemisphere for both Feridex and MION. Feridex histochemical staining was found in capillaries of the disrupted hemisphere. Electron microscopy showed that the Feridex particles passed the capillary endothelial cells but did not cross beyond the basement membrane. In contrast, after MION delivery, iron histochemistry was detected within cell bodies in the disrupted hemisphere, and the electron-dense MION core was detected intracellularly and extracellularly in the neuropil. CONCLUSION: MR images showing homogeneous delivery to the brain at the macroscopic level did not indicate delivery at the microscopic level. These data support the presence of a physiological barrier at the basal lamina, analogous to the podocyte in the kidney, distal to the anatomic (tight junction) BBB, which may limit the distribution of some proteins and viral particles after transvascular delivery to the brain. (+info)
Comparison of ultrasmall particles of iron oxide (USPIO)-enhanced T2-weighted, conventional T2-weighted, and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted MR images in rats with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Ultrasmall particles of iron oxide (USPIO) constitute a contrast agent that accumulates in cells from the mononuclear phagocytic system. In the CNS they may accumulate in phagocytic cells such as macrophages. The goal of this study was to compare USPIO-enhanced MR images with conventional T2-weighted images and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images in a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). METHODS: Nine rats with EAE and four control rats were imaged at 4.7 T and 1.5 T with conventional T1- and T2-weighted sequences, gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted sequences, and T2-weighted sequences obtained 24 hours after intravenous injection of a USPIO contrast agent, AMI-227. Histologic examination was performed with hematoxylin-eosin stain, Perls' stain for iron, and ED1 immunohistochemistry for macrophages. RESULTS: USPIO-enhanced images showed a high sensitivity (8/9) for detecting EAE lesions, whereas poor sensitivity was obtained with T2-weighted images (1/9) and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images (0/9). All the MR findings in the control rats were negative. Histologic examination revealed the presence of macrophages at the site where abnormalities were seen on USPIO-enhanced images. CONCLUSION: The high sensitivity of USPIO for macrophage activity relative to other imaging techniques is explained by the histologic findings of numerous perivascular cell infiltrates, including macrophages, in EAE. This work supports the possibility of intracellular USPIO transport to the CNS by monocytes/macrophages, which may have future implications for imaging of human inflammatory diseases. (+info)
Magnetic resonance imaging of atherosclerotic plaque with ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide in hyperlipidemic rabbits.
BACKGROUND: Based on the observation that ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxides (USPIOs) are phagocytosed by cells of the mononuclear phagocytic system, the purpose of this study was to evaluate their use as a marker of atherosclerosis-associated inflammatory changes in the vessel wall before luminal narrowing is present. METHODS AND RESULTS: Experiments were conducted on 6 heritable hyperlipidemic and 3 New Zealand White rabbits. 3D MR angiography (MRA) of the thoracic aorta was performed on all rabbits by use of a conventional paramagnetic contrast agent that failed to reveal any abnormalities. One week later, all rabbits except 1 of the hyperlipidemic animals were injected with a USPIO contrast agent (Sinerem, Guerbet) at a dose of 1 mmol Fe/kg. 3D MRA data sets collected over the subsequent 5 days showed increasing signal in the aortic lumen. Whereas the aortic wall of the control rabbits remained smooth and bright, marked susceptibility effects became evident on day 4 within the aortic walls of hyperlipidemic rabbits. Ex vivo imaging of aortic specimens confirmed the in vivo results. Histopathology documented marked Fe uptake in macrophages embedded in atherosclerotic plaque of the hyperlipidemic rabbits. Electron microscopy showed multiple cytoplasmic Fe particles in macrophages. No such changes were seen in control rabbits or in the hyperlipidemic rabbit that had not received Sinerem. CONCLUSIONS: USPIOs are phagocytosed by macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques of the aortic wall of hyperlipidemic rabbits in a quantity sufficient to cause susceptibility effects detectable by MRI. (+info)
Experimental study of fast and ultrafast T2-weighted imaging sequences using AMI-25 superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO).
The objective of this study was to evaluate fast and ultrafast T2-weighted images (T2WI), including echo planar imaging (EPI), using an AMI-25 agar phantom. Image quality for conventional spin echo (CSE) and turbo spin echo (TSE) was almost equivalent. In high-resolution TSE, image quality was highest due to the use of a 512 x 256 matrix. Half-Fourier single-shot turbo SE (HASTE) was associated with blurring of images, and turbo-gradient SE (TGSE) showed a deterioration of image quality. EPI also suffered from poor image quality because this method is very sensitive to magnetic field inhomogeneity. CSE showed good signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and contrast ratio (CR), but also required the longest imaging times. Among the TSE sequences, TSE with a short echo train length (ETL) was superior in terms of S/N. The CR of EPI and fast low angle shot (FLASH) images were improved in proportion to the effective echo time (TE). At present, TSE is inferior to CSE in terms of S/N and CR. However, taking into consideration scanning time, TSE with a short ETL is thought to be suitable for routine examinations. Effective TE is an important factor in gradient echo (GRE) examinations. (+info)
Magnetic labeling of activated microglia in experimental gliomas.
Microglia, as intrinsic immunoeffector cells of the central nervous system (CNS), play a very sensitive, crucial role in the response to almost any brain pathology where they are activated to a phagocytic state. Based on the characteristic features of activated microglia, we investigated whether these cells can be visualized with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIOs). The hypothesis of this study was that MR microglia visualization could not only reveal the extent of the tumor, but also allow for assessing the status of immunologic defense. Using USPIOs in cell culture experiments and in a rat glioma model, we showed that microglia can be labeled magnetically. Labeled microglia are detected by confocal microscopy within and around tumors in a typical border-like pattern. Quantitative in vitro studies revealed that microglia internalize amounts of USPIOs that are significantly higher than those incorporated by tumor cells and astrocytes. Labeled microglia can be detected and quantified with MRI in cell phantoms, and the extent of the tumor can be seen in glioma-bearing rats in vivo. We conclude that magnetic labeling of microglia provides a potential tool for MRI of gliomas, which reflects tumor morphology precisely. Furthermore, the results suggest that MRI may yield functional data on the immunologic reaction of the CNS. (+info)
Characterization of focal hepatic lesions with SPIO-enhanced MRI.
AIM: To evaluate the value of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) enhanced MRI in characterizing focal hepatic lesions. METHODS: Forty-three patients (32 men,11 women, mean age 51 years, age range 25-74 years) with previously identified focal hepatic lesions were enrolled into this study. All the patients underwent plain, Gd-DTPA enhanced MRI and the SPIO enhanced MRI 1-7 d later. The surgico-pathologic diagnosis was aestablished in 31 cases and the diagnosis in other 12 cases was made on the basis of clinical findings and biochemical tests. The signal changes of lesions were analyzed and the CNRs of lesion-to-liver were measured before and after SPIO enhancement. The data were analyzed by paired t test. RESULTS: Focal hepatic lesions included primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC,n=22), hemangioma (n=5), cyst (n=4), metastases (n=5), cirrhotic nodule (n=4), focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH, n=5) and other miscellaneous lesions (n=6). After SPIO enhancement HCC demonstrated iso- or slight hyperintensity on T1WI and moderate hyperintersity on T2WI, hemangioma showed moderate hyperintensity on T1WI and obvious hyperintensity on T2WI, the SI of cyst had no change either on T1WI or on T2WI, cirrhotic nodules revealed iso-intensity on T2WI, and the SI of FNH decreased significantly on T2WI. No specific manifestations were found in the other 6 miscellaneous lesions after SPIO enhancement. CONCLUSION: SPIO enhanced-MRI can improve the characterization confidence for diagnosis of focal hepatic lesions. (+info)
In vivo detection of acute rat renal allograft rejection by MRI with USPIO particles.
BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for non-invasively detecting renal rejection was developed by monitoring the accumulation of macrophages labeled with dextran-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) particles at the rat renal allografts during acute rejection. METHODS: Five groups of male rats with DA-->BN renal allografts and one group with BN-->BN renal isografts were investigated by MRI before, immediately after, and 24 hr after intravenous infusion with different doses of USPIO particles. All infusions were done on post-operative day 4. MRI experiments were carried out in a 4.7-Tesla instrument using a gradient echo sequence. RESULTS: MR signal intensity (MRSI) of the cortex was found to decrease with higher dosages of USPIO particles. In the absence of USPIO infusion, a decrease in MRSI was seen in the medulla region, presumably due to hemorrhage associated with renal graft rejection, while no significant change was observed in the cortex. The optimal dose of USPIO particles for visualizing rejection-associated changes in our rat kidney model appears to be 6 mg Fe/kg body weight. Iron staining results correlated with the MRSI data, indicating that the signal reduction in the MR images was due to the presence of iron. Immunohistochemical results indicated that USPIO particles were mostly taken up by infiltrating macrophages in the rejecting grafts. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that MRI with intravenous administration of dextran-coated USPIO particles appears to be a valuable and promising tool that can be used as a non-invasive and sensitive method to detect graft rejection in renal transplantation. (+info)
Comparison of two superparamagnetic viral-sized iron oxide particles ferumoxides and ferumoxtran-10 with a gadolinium chelate in imaging intracranial tumors.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particles result in shortening of T1 and T2 relaxation time constants and can be used as MR contrast agents. We tested four hypotheses by evaluating MR images of intracranial tumors after infusion of two iron oxide agents in comparison with a gadolinium chelate: 1) Ferumoxtran in contrast to ferumoxides can be used as an intravenous MR contrast agent in intracranial tumors; 2) ferumoxtran enhancement, albeit delayed, is similar to gadolinium enhancement; 3) ferumoxtran-enhanced MR images in contrast to gadolinium-enhanced MR images may be compared with histologic specimens showing the cellular location of iron oxide particles; 4) ferumoxtran can serve as a model for viral vector delivery. METHODS: In 20 patients, ferumoxides and ferumoxtran were intravenously administered at recommended clinical doses. MR imaging was performed 30 minutes and 4 hours after ferumoxides infusion (n = 3), whereas ferumoxtran-enhanced MR imaging (n = 17) was performed 6 and 24 hours after infusion in the first five patients and 24 hours after infusion in the remaining 12. MR sequences were spin-echo (SE) T1-weighted, fast SE T2- and proton density-weighted, gradient-recalled-echo T2*-weighted, and, in four cases, echo-planar T2-weighted sequences. Representative regions of interest were chosen on pre- and postcontrast images to compare each sequence and signal intensity. RESULTS: Despite some degree of gadolinium enhancement in all tumors, no significant T1 or T2 signal intensity changes were seen after ferumoxides administration at either examination time. Fifteen of 17 patients given ferumoxtrans had T1 and/or T2 shortening consistent with iron penetration into tumor. Histologic examination revealed minimal iron staining of the tumor with strong staining at the periphery of the tumors. CONCLUSION: 1) Ferumoxtran can be used as an intravenous MR contrast agent in intracranial tumors, mostly malignant tumors. 2) Enhancement with ferumoxtran is comparable to but more variable than that with the gadolinium chelate. 3) Histologic examination showed a distribution of ferumoxtran particles similar to that on MR images, but at histology the cellular uptake was primarily by parenchymal cells at the tumor margin. 4) Ferumoxtran may be used as a model for viral vector delivery in malignant brain tumors. (+info)