July 30, 2009 - Scientists reporting in the July 31 issue of SCIENCE have discovered a key disease-related biologic pathway using an integrated and innovative array of in vitro readouts and advanced in vivo imaging technologies, reported VisEn Medical Inc., a fluorescence in vivo imaging company.
The newly reported biologic pathway relates to monocyte deployment from the spleen to inflammatory sites, including myocardial infarction. The findings are expected to open up new areas of research and potentially advance therapeutic approaches to key disease areas including inflammation and myocardial injury.
In the SCIENCE report, entitled "Identification of Splenic Reservoir Monocytes and Their Deployment to Inflammatory Sites," researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Systems Biology found that monocytes were held in concentration in the spleen and released to injured tissue sites in the body to participate in wound healing. As presented in the findings, the reporting scientists discovered and detailed the biologic pathway through the use of a series of advanced and integrated in vitro assays, microscopic readouts, and in vivo imaging methodologies, including magnetic resonance (MR) imaging combined with quantitative fluorescence molecular tomographic (FMT) imaging. Used together in a series of novel scientific models, the researchers developed correlated data sets to both identify this previously unidentified splenic reservoir of monocytes, and demonstrate the monocyte deployment to inflammatory sites in vivo. In the in vivo data analysis, non-invasive, quantitative FMT imaging using novel fluorescent molecular imaging agents, combined with MR imaging, clearly demonstrated not only the location, but also the biological activity of the recruited splenic monocytes at the disease site, thus helping to confirm "unambiguously the fate of monocytes from the spleen to the heart."
For more information: www.visenmedical.com