Journal article Open Access

MRI visualization of neuroinflammation using VCAM-1 targeted paramagnetic micelles.

Garello, Francesca; Pagoto, Amerigo; Arena, Francesca; Buffo, Annalisa; Blasi, Francesco; Alberti, Diego; Terreno, Enzo

Abstract

The detection of neuroinflammatory processes using innovative and non-invasive imaging techniques is of great help to deeply investigate the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Since Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule (VCAM-1) is over expressed at the blood brain barrier in the event of neuroinflammation, the goal of this work was the testing of MRI detectable micelles targeted towards VCAM-1 to visualize inflamed regions in a mouse model of acute neuroinflammation. The developed probe allowed for the early detection of the disease, with higher T1 signal enhancement and more precise localization in comparison to untargeted micelles or to the clinically approved contrast agent MultiHance. Moreover, the relatively long blood half-life of the nanosystem (ca. 6.3 h) guaranteed a good accumulation in the inflamed regions, paving the way to future diagnostic/theranostic applications, implying the loading of neuroprotective or even anti-cancer drugs inside the core of the micelles.

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