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Recombinant high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles containing gadolinium-labeled cholesterol for morphologic and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the liver

Authors Rui M, Guo, Ding Q, Wei X, Xu J, Xu Y

Received 20 April 2012

Accepted for publication 31 May 2012

Published 17 July 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 3751—3768

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S33139

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Mengjie Rui,1 Wei Guo,2 Qian Ding,2 Xiaohui Wei,2 Jianrong Xu,3 Yuhong Xu2

1School of Life Science and Biotechnology, 2School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China; 3Department of Radiology, Renji Hospital Affiliation with Medical School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Background: Natural high-density lipoproteins (HDL) possess important physiological functions to the transport of cholesterol from the peripheral tissues to the liver for metabolic degradation and excretion in the bile.
Methods and results: In this work, we took advantage of this pathway and prepared two different gadolinium (Gd)-DTPA-labeled cholesterol-containing recombinant HDL nanoparticles (Gd-chol-HDL) and Gd-(chol)2-HDL as liver-specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. The reconstituted HDL nanoparticles had structural similarity to native HDL, and could be taken up by HepG2 cells via interaction with HDL receptors in vitro. In vivo MRI studies in rats after intravenous injections of 10 µmol gadolinium per kg of recombinant HDL nanoparticles indicated that both nanoparticles could provide signal enhancement in the liver and related organs. However, different T1-weighted image details suggested that they participated in different cholesterol metabolism and excretion pathways in the liver.
Conclusion: Such information could be highly useful to differentiate functional changes as well as anatomic differences in the liver. These cholesterol-derived contrast agents and their recombinant HDL preparations may warrant further development as a new class of contrast agents for MRI of the liver and related organs.

Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging, apolipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, contrast agent, gadolinium, liver

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