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Noninvasive monitoring of early antiangiogenic therapy response in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma xenograft model using MRI with RGD-conjugated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

Authors Cui Y, Zhang C, Luo R, Liu H, Zhang Z, Xu T, Zhang Y, Wang D

Received 20 June 2016

Accepted for publication 19 September 2016

Published 14 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 5671—5682


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Yanfen Cui,1,* Caiyuan Zhang,1,* Ran Luo,1 Huanhuan Liu,1 Zhongyang Zhang,1 Tianyong Xu,2 Yong Zhang,2 Dengbin Wang1

1Department of Radiology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 2MR Advanced Application and Research Center, GE Healthcare China, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD)-based nanoprobes allow specific imaging of integrin αvβ3, a protein overexpressed during angiogenesis. Therefore, this study applied a novel RGD-coupled, polyacrylic acid (PAA)-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) (referred to as RGD-PAA-USPIO) in order to detect tumor angiogenesis and assess the early response to antiangiogenic treatment in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) xenograft model by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and methods: The binding specificity of RGD-PAA-USPIO with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) was confirmed by Prussian blue staining and transmission electron microscopy in vitro. The tumor targeting of RGD-PAA-USPIO was evaluated in the NPC xenograft model. Later, mice bearing NPC underwent MRI at baseline and after 4 and 14 days of consecutive treatment with Endostar or phosphate-buffered saline (n=10 per group).
Results: The specific uptake of the RGD-PAA-USPIO nanoparticles was mainly dependent on the interaction between RGD and integrin αvβ3 of HUVECs. The tumor targeting of RGD-PAA-USPIO was observed in the NPC xenograft model. Moreover, the T2 relaxation time of mice in the Endostar-treated group decreased significantly compared with those in the control group both on days 4 and 14, consistent with the immunofluorescence results of CD31 and CD61 (P<0.05).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the magnetic resonance molecular nanoprobes, RGD-PAA-USPIOs, allow noninvasive in vivo imaging of tumor angiogenesis and assessment of the early response to antiangiogenic treatment in NPC xenograft model, favoring its potential clinical translation.

Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide, integrin αvβ3, antiangiogenic therapy, Endostar, nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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