News | April 13, 2012

New Method Developed To Image, Treat Plaque in Arteries

April 13, 2012 — Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center have successfully used nanotechnology to target a protein that plays a key role in atherosclerosis and inflammation. Researchers say the study is an important advance toward using immunotherapy to simultaneously diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. The research is published in the April edition of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Myeloid-related protein 8/14 complex (Mrp8/14) regulates vascular inflammation in atherosclerosis and its presence is readily detectable in human and animal atherosclerotic plaques.  

“Because it is so highly expressed in plaque, we wanted to target Mrp8/14 for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a way to assess and estimate disease progression,” says Andrei Maiseyeu, a researcher at OSU’s Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute.

Maiseyeu and his team engineered a new nanoprobe, which is a tiny device that helps detect very small structures on a cellular level. The nanoprobe binds to Mrp 8/14 and contains gadolinium contrast agent to use with MRI. Building on their previous research, the team used nanoparticles made of phospholipids and Mrp antibodies, both of which have an anti-inflammatory effect. These nanoparticles accumulate, allowing researchers to better locate and assess the plaque.

They tested the nanoprobe in mice with atherosclerosis and in mice that were Mrp deficient. The results showed the anti-Mrp nanoprobe enhanced imaging of the aortic wall nearly five-fold in mice with atherosclerosis. Additionally, researchers reported the image clarity, or contrast-to-noise ratio, improved 22-fold. There was no enhancement in the images from the Mrp deficient mice.

“We were a little surprised by how pronounced the image enhancement was using the nanoprobe, and it gives us great hope,” says Maiseyeu. “There are many antibody therapies for cancer, but none so far for cardiovascular disease. We will study this further in an effort to establish immunotherapy for cardiovascular disease.”

The team also noted the anti-Mrp probe neutralized the inflammatory effects of Mrp8/14. Maiseyeu says this paves the way for developing a diagnostic device that also has therapeutic benefit, also called theranostic technology.

“Theranostics has potential to streamline patient care with more efficient diagnosis and treatment, and more precise imaging of disease,” says Sanjay Rajagopalan, director of vascular research at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center and senior author on the study. “It’s an exciting and popular area to explore.”

The team is now developing a nanoprobe with an antibody that is more specific to humans for testing in human atherosclerotic tissue. Other Ohio State researchers involved in the study include: Georgeta Mihai, Qinghua Sun, Jeffrey Deiuliis, Cuiqing Liu and Marcus Badgeley. The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association.

For more information: www.medicalcenter.osu.edu

Related Content

Novel Technique May Significantly Reduce Breast Biopsies
News | Breast Biopsy Systems | January 17, 2019
A novel technique that uses mammography to determine the biological tissue composition of a tumor could help reduce...
Digital Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection
News | Mammography | January 16, 2019
The shift from film to digital mammography increased the detection of breast cancer by 14 percent overall in the United...
Artificial Intelligence Used in Clinical Practice to Measure Breast Density
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 15, 2019
An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm measures breast density at the level of an experienced mammographer,...
Machine Learning Uncovers New Insights Into Human Brain Through fMRI
News | Neuro Imaging | January 11, 2019
An interdisciplinary research team led by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully...
Mobile App Data Collection Shows Promise for Population Health Surveys
News | Population Health | January 10, 2019
Mobile app data collection can bring access to more potential clinical study participants, reduce clinical study...
Hypertension With Progressive Cerebral Small Vessel Disease Increases Cognitive Impairment Risk
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | January 08, 2019
Patients with high blood pressure and progression of periventricular white matter hyperintensities showed signs of...
Artificial Intelligence Pinpoints Nine Different Abnormalities in Head Scans

A brain scan (left) showing an intraparenchymal hemorrhage in left frontal region and a scan (right) of a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the left parietal region. Both conditions were accurately detected by the Qure.ai tool. Image courtesy of Nature Medicine.

News | Artificial Intelligence | January 07, 2019
The rise in the use of computed tomography (CT) scans in U.S. emergency rooms has been a well-documented trend1 in...
Electronic Brachytherapy Effective in Long-Term Study of 1,000 Early-Stage Breast Cancers
News | Brachytherapy Systems, Women's Healthcare | January 07, 2019
Breast cancer recurrence rates of patients treated with intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) using the Xoft Axxent...
Brachytherapy Alone Superior Treatment for Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | January 04, 2019
Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) indicated a significantly different clinician and patient-reported late toxicity...
Breast Cancer Patients Have Less Heart Damage With Heart Drug and Trastuzumab
News | Cardio-oncology | January 03, 2019
Breast cancer patients who take a heart drug at the same time as trastuzumab have less heart damage, according to a...