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Synovitis in mice with inflammatory arthritis monitored with quantitative analysis of dynamic contrast-enhanced NIR fluorescence imaging using iRGD-targeted liposomes as fluorescence probes

Authors Wu H, Wu H, He Y, Gan Z, Xu Z, Zhou M, Liu S, Liu H

Received 29 October 2017

Accepted for publication 24 January 2018

Published 23 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1841—1850


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Hao Wu,1,2,* Haohan Wu,1,2,* Yanni He,1 Zhen Gan,2 Zhili Xu,1,2 Meijun Zhou,1,2 Sai Liu,1,2 Hongmei Liu1

1Department of Ultrasonography, Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital Affiliated to Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China; 2Department of Ultrasonography, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory disorder characterized primarily by synovitis and pannus formation in multiple joints, causing joints destruction and irreversible disability in most cases. Early diagnosis and effective therapy monitoring of RA are of importance for achieving the favorable prognosis.
Methods: We first prepared the targeted fluorescence probes, and then explored the feasibility of near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence molecular imaging to detect and evaluate the RA via the targeted fluorescence probes by quantitative analysis in this study.
Results: The targeted fluorescence probes (indocyanine green-liposomes decorated with iRGD peptide [iLPs]) was successfully prepared. The quantitative analysis found that strong fluorescence signal was detected in inflamed paws and the fluorescence signal in iLPs group was 3.03-fold higher than that in non-targeted (indocyanine green-liposomes decorated without iRGD peptide [LPs]) group (P<0.01) at 15 min after injection, whereas the fluorescence signal from iLPs signal can almost not be observed in the non-inflamed paws, showing the high sensitivity and accuracy for arthritis by the NIR fluorescence imaging based on iLPs.
The NIR fluorescence imaging by iLPs may facilitate improved arthritis diagnosis and early assessment of the disease progression by providing an in vivo characterization of angiogenesis in inflammatory joint diseases.

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, synovitis, diagnosis, near-infrared fluorescence imaging, iRGD-targeted probes

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