(64)Cu-labeled LyP-1-dendrimer for PET-CT imaging of atherosclerotic plaque. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability to detect and quantify macrophage accumulation can provide important diagnostic and prognostic information for atherosclerotic plaque. We have previously shown that LyP-1, a cyclic 9-amino acid peptide, binds to p32 proteins on activated macrophages, facilitating the visualization of atherosclerotic plaque with PET. Yet, the in vivo plaque accumulation of monomeric [(18)F]FBA-LyP-1 was low (0.31 0.05%ID/g). To increase the avidity of LyP-1 constructs to p32, we synthesized a dendritic form of LyP-1 on solid phase using lysine as the core structural element. Imaging probes (FAM or 6-BAT) were conjugated to a lysine or cysteine on the dendrimer for optical and PET studies. The N-terminus of the dendrimer was further modified with an aminooxy group in order to conjugate LyP-1 and ARAL peptides bearing a ketone. Oxime ligation of peptides to both dendrimers resulted in (LyP-1)4- and (ARAL)4-dendrimers with optical (FAM) and PET probes (6-BAT). For PET-CT studies, (LyP-1)4- and (ARAL)4-dendrimer-6-BAT were labeled with (64)Cu (t1/2 = 12.7 h) and intravenously injected into the atherosclerotic (ApoE(-/-)) mice. After two hours of circulation, PET-CT coregistered images demonstrated greater uptake of the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer-(64)Cu than the (ARAL)4-dendrimer-(64)Cu in the aortic root and descending aorta. Ex vivo images and the biodistribution acquired at three hours after injection also demonstrated a significantly higher uptake of the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer-(64)Cu (1.1 0.26%ID/g) than the (ARAL)4-dendrimer-(64)Cu (0.22 0.05%ID/g) in the aorta. Similarly, subcutaneous injection of the LyP-1-dendrimeric carriers resulted in preferential accumulation in plaque-containing regions over 24 h. In the same model system, ex vivo fluorescence images within aortic plaque depict an increased accumulation and penetration of the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer-FAM as compared to the (ARAL)4-dendrimer-FAM. Taken together, the results suggest that the (LyP-1)4-dendrimer can be applied for in vivo PET imaging of plaque and that LyP-1 could be further exploited for the delivery of therapeutics with multivalent carriers or nanoparticles.

published proceedings

  • Bioconjug Chem

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Seo, J. W., Baek, H., Mahakian, L. M., Kusunose, J., Hamzah, J., Ruoslahti, E., & Ferrara, K. W.

citation count

  • 71

complete list of authors

  • Seo, Jai Woong||Baek, Hyounggee||Mahakian, Lisa M||Kusunose, Jiro||Hamzah, Juliana||Ruoslahti, Erkki||Ferrara, Katherine W

publication date

  • February 2014