Imaging rheumatoid arthritis in mice using combined near infrared and 19F magnetic resonance modalities

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and tissue destruction in people worldwide. An accurate diagnosis is paramount in order to develop an effective treatment plan. This study demonstrates that combining near infrared (NIR) imaging and 19F MRI with the injection of labelled nanoparticles provides high diagnostic specificity for RA. The nanoparticles were made from poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (NP) or PLGA-PEG-Folate (Folate-NP), loaded with perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB) and indocyanine green (ICG) and evaluated in vitro and in a collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) mouse model. The different particles had a similar size and a spherical shape according to dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Based on flow cytometry and 19F MRI analysis, Folate-NP yielded a higher uptake than NP in activated macrophages in vitro. The potential RA-targeting ability of the particles was studied in CIA mice using NIR and 19F MRI analysis. Both NP and Folate-NP accumulated in the RA tissues, where they were visible in NIR and 19F MRI for up to 24 hours. The presence of folate as a targeting ligand significantly improved the NIR signal from inflamed tissue at the early time point (2 hours), but not at later time points. Overall, these results suggest that our nanoparticles can be applied for combined NIR and 19F MRI imaging for improved RA diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14314
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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