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MR imaging and targeting of a specific alveolar macrophage subpopulation in LPS-induced COPD animal model using antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles

Authors Al Faraj A, Sultana Shaik A, Afzal S, Al Sayed B, Halwani R

Received 18 December 2013

Accepted for publication 29 January 2014

Published 24 March 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1491—1503


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Achraf Al Faraj,1 Asma Sultana Shaik,1 Sibtain Afzal,2 Baraa Al Sayed,1 Rabih Halwani2

1King Saud University, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Department of Radiological Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Lab, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2King Saud University, Prince Naif Center for Immunology Research, Asthma Research Chair, College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: Targeting and noninvasive imaging of a specific alveolar macrophage subpopulation in the lung has revealed the importance for early and better diagnosis and therapy of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this study, the in vivo effect of pulmonary administration of iron oxide nanoparticles on the polarization profile of macrophages was assessed, and a noninvasive free-breathing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol coupled with the use of biocompatible antibody-conjugated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles was developed to enable specific targeting and imaging of a particular macrophage subpopulation in lipopolysaccharide-induced COPD mice model.
Materials and methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Real-time polymerase chain reaction, and flow cytometry analysis were performed to assess the biocompatibility of PEGylated dextran-coated SPIO nanoparticles. Specific biomarkers for M1 and M2 macrophages subsets were selected for conjugation with magnetic nanoparticles. MRI protocol using ultra-short echo time sequence was optimized to enable simultaneous detection of inflammation progress in the lung and detection of macrophages subsets. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry analysis were finally performed to confirm MRI readouts and to characterize the polarization profile of targeted macrophages.
Results: The tested SPIO nanoparticles, under the current experimental conditions, were found to be biocompatible for lung administration in preclinical settings. Cluster of differentiation (CD)86- and CD206-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles enabled successful noninvasive detection of M1 and M2 macrophage subpopulations, respectively, and were found to co-localize with inflammatory regions induced by lipopolysaccharide challenge. No variation in the polarization profile of targeted macrophages was observed, even though a continuum switch in their polarization might occur. However, further confirmatory studies are required to conclusively establish this observation.
Conclusion: Coupling of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with a specific antibody targeted to a particular macrophage subpopulation could offer a promising strategy for an early and better diagnosis of pulmonary inflammatory diseases using noninvasive MRI.

Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, lung imaging, lung inflammation, iron oxide nanoparticles, macrophage tracking, lipopolysaccharide

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