In vivo detection of acute rat renal allograft rejection by MRI with USPIO particles.

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Abstract or Description

BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for non-invasively detecting renal rejection was developed by monitoring the accumulation of macrophages labeled with dextran-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) particles at the rat renal allografts during acute rejection.

METHODS: Five groups of male rats with DA-->BN renal allografts and one group with BN-->BN renal isografts were investigated by MRI before, immediately after, and 24 hr after intravenous infusion with different doses of USPIO particles. All infusions were done on post-operative day 4. MRI experiments were carried out in a 4.7-Tesla instrument using a gradient echo sequence.

RESULTS: MR signal intensity (MRSI) of the cortex was found to decrease with higher dosages of USPIO particles. In the absence of USPIO infusion, a decrease in MRSI was seen in the medulla region, presumably due to hemorrhage associated with renal graft rejection, while no significant change was observed in the cortex. The optimal dose of USPIO particles for visualizing rejection-associated changes in our rat kidney model appears to be 6 mg Fe/kg body weight. Iron staining results correlated with the MRSI data, indicating that the signal reduction in the MR images was due to the presence of iron. Immunohistochemical results indicated that USPIO particles were mostly taken up by infiltrating macrophages in the rejecting grafts.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that MRI with intravenous administration of dextran-coated USPIO particles appears to be a valuable and promising tool that can be used as a non-invasive and sensitive method to detect graft rejection in renal transplantation.




Published In

Kidney international, 61, 3, 1124-1135.