Radiolabeled Rhein as Small-Molecule Necrosis Avid Agents for Imaging of Necrotic Myocardium
A rapid and accurate identification of necrotic myocardium is of great importance for diagnosis, risk stratification, clinical decision-making, and prognosis evaluation of myocardial infarction. Here, we explored technetium-99m labeled rhein derivatives for rapid imaging of the necrotic myocardium. Three hydrazinonicotinic acid-linker-rhein (HYNIC-linker-rhein) derivatives were synthesized, and then, these synthetic compounds were labeled with technetium-99m using ethylenediaminediacetic acid (EDDA) and tricine as coligands [ 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-linker-rhein]. The necrosis avidity of the three 99m Tc-labeled rhein derivatives was tested in a mouse model of ethanol-induced muscular necrosis by gamma counting, histochemical staining, and autoradiography. A lead tracer for visualization of necrotic myocardium was assessed by single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging in a rat model with reperfused myocardial infarction. The necrosis avidity mechanism of the tracer was explored by DNA binding studies in vitro and blocking experiments in vivo . Results showed that the uptake in necrotic muscles of the three 99m Tc-compounds was higher than that in viable muscles ( P 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-ethylenediamine-rhein [ 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-2C-rhein] displayed the best distribution profiles for imaging. The necrotic myocardium lesions were clearly visualized by SPECT/CT using 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-2C-rhein at 1 h after injection. The necrotic-to-viable myocardium and necrotic myocardium-to-blood uptake ratios of 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-2C-rhein were 4.79 and 3.02 at 1 h after injection. DNA binding studies suggested HYNIC-linker-rhein bound to DNA through intercalation. The uptake of 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-2C-rhein in necrotic muscle was significantly blocked by excessive unlabeled rhein, with 77.61% decline at 1 h after coinjection. These findings suggested 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-2C-rhein emerged as a “hot spot” imaging probe that has a potential for rapid imaging of necrotic myocardium. The necrosis avidity mechanism of 99m Tc(EDDA)-HYNIC-linker-rhein may be due to its interaction with exposed DNA in necrotic tissues. Graphic Abstract ACS Electronic Supporting Info
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