Specific targeting of atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE(-/-) mice using a new Camelid sdAb binding the vulnerable plaque marker LOX-1.

TitleSpecific targeting of atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE(-/-) mice using a new Camelid sdAb binding the vulnerable plaque marker LOX-1.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDe Vos, J., I. Mathijs, C. Xavier, S. Massa, U. Wernery, L. Bouwens, T. Lahoutte, S. Muyldermans, and N. Devoogdt
JournalMol Imaging Biol
Date Published2014 Oct

PURPOSE: Molecular imaging has the potential to provide quantitative information about specific biological aspects of developing atherosclerotic lesions. This requires the generation of reliable, highly specific plaque tracers. This study reports a new camelid single-domain antibody fragment (sdAb) targeting the Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor (LOX-1), a biomarker for the detection and molecular phenotyping of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.PROCEDURES: A camelid sdAb was generated and selected for high affinity binding to LOX-1. Ex vivo biodistribution and in vivo single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) imaging studies were performed in wild-type mice and in fat-fed atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice with (99m)Tc-labeled sdAbs. Gamma-counting and autoradiography analyses were performed on dissected aorta segments with different degrees of plaque burden. The specificity of the LOX-1-targeting sdAb was evaluated by blocking with unlabeled sdAb or by comparison with a nontargeting (99m)Tc-labeled control sdAb.RESULTS: We generated a sdAb binding LOX-1 with a KD of 280 pM ± 62 pM affinity. After (99m)Tc-labeling, the tracer had radiochemical purity higher then 99 % and retained specificity in in vitro binding studies. Tracer blood clearance was fast with concomitant high kidney retention. At 3 h after injection, uptake in tissues other than plaques was low and not different than background, suggesting a restricted expression pattern of LOX-1. Conversely, uptake in aortic segments increased with plaque content and was due to specific LOX-1 binding. In vivo SPECT/CT imaging 160 min after injection in atherosclerotic mice confirmed specific targeting of LOX-1-expressing aortic plaques.CONCLUSIONS: The LOX-sdAb specifically targets LOX-1-expressing atherosclerotic plaques within hours after injection. The possibility to image LOX-1 rapidly after administration combined with the favourable biodistribution of a sdAb are beneficial for molecular phenotyping of atherosclerotic plaques and the generation of a future prognostic tracer.

Alternate JournalMol Imaging Biol
PubMed ID24687730
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