PET/CT and MR imaging biomarker of lipid-rich plaques using [(64)Cu]-labeled scavenger receptor (CD68-Fc)

Boris Bigalke, Alkystis Phinikaridou, Marcelo E Andia, Margaret S Cooper, Andreas Schuster, Thomas Wurster, David Onthank, Götz Münch, Philip Blower, Meinrad Gawaz, Eike Nagel, Rene M Botnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Continued uptake of modified low-density lipoproteins (LDL) by the scavenger receptor, CD68, of activated macrophages is a crucial process in the development of atherosclerotic plaques and leads to the formation of foam cells. Eight-weeks-old male Apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice (n=6) were fed a high-fat diet for 12 weeks. C57BL/6J wildtype (WT) mice served as controls (n=6). Positron emission tomography (PET) with an acquisition time of 1800s (NanoPET/CT scanner; Mediso, Hungary & Bioscan, USA) was carried out 24h after intravenous tail vein administration of 50µl (64)Cu-CD68-Fc (~20-30µg labeled protein/mouse containing approximately 10-12MBq (64)Cu-CD68-Fc per mouse). Three days after PET/CT, all mice received an intravenous administration of 0.2 mmol/kg body weight of a gadolinium-based elastin-binding contrast agent to assess plaque burden and vessel wall remodeling. Two hours after injection, mice were imaged in a 3T clinical MR scanner (Philips Healthcare, Best, NL) using a dedicated single loop surface coil (23mm). Enhanced (64)Cu-CD68-Fc uptake was found in the aortic arches of ApoE(-/-) compared to WT mice (ApoE(-/-) mice:10.5±1.5Bq/cm³ vs. WT mice: 2.1±0.3Bq/cm³; P=0.002). Higher gadolinium-based elastin-binding contrast agent uptake was also detected in the aortic arch of ApoE(-/-) compared to WT mice using R(1) maps (R(1)=1.47±0.06 s(-1) vs. 0.92±0.05 s(-1); P <0.001). Radiolabeled scavenger receptor ((64)Cu-CD68-Fc) may help to target foam cell rich plaques with high content of oxidized LDL. This novel imaging biomarker tool may have potential to identify unstable plaques and for risk stratification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2014


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