Background: 111In-DOTA-butylamino-NorBIRT (DANBIRT) is a novel radioligand which binds to Leukocyte Function-associated Antigen-1 (LFA-1), expressed on inflammatory cells. This study evaluated 111In-DANBIRT for the visualization of atherosclerotic plaque inflammation in mice. Methods and Results: ApoE−/− mice, fed an atherogenic diet up to 20 weeks (n = 10), were imaged by SPECT/CT 3 hours post injection of 111In-DANBIRT (~ 200 pmol, ~ 40 MBq). Focal spots of 111In-DANBIRT were visible in the aortic arch of all animals, with an average Target-to-Background Ratio (TBR) of 1.7 ± 0.5. In vivo imaging results were validated by ex vivo SPECT/CT imaging, with a TBR up to 11.5 (range 2.6 to 11.5). Plaques, identified by Oil Red O lipid-staining on excised arteries, co-localized with 111In-DANBIRT uptake as determined by ex vivo autoradiography. Subsequent histological processing and in vitro autoradiography confirmed 111In-DANBIRT uptake at plaque areas containing CD68 expressing macrophages and LFA-1 expressing inflammatory cells. Ex vivo incubation of a human carotid endarterectomy specimen with 111In-DANBIRT (~ 950 nmol, ~ 190 MBq) for 2 hours showed heterogeneous plaque uptake on SPECT/CT, after which immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated co-localization of 111In-DANBIRT uptake and CD68 and LFA-1 expressing cells. Conclusions: Our results indicate the potential of radiolabeled DANBIRT as a relevant imaging radioligand for non-invasive evaluation of atherosclerotic inflammation.

Atherosclerosis, inflammation, molecular imaging, SPECT,
Journal of Nuclear Cardiology
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Meester, E.J. (E. J.), Krenning, B.J, de Blois, R.H. (R. H.), Norenberg, J.P, de Jong, M. (M.), Bernsen, M.R, & van der Heiden, K. (2018). Imaging of atherosclerosis, targeting LFA-1 on inflammatory cells with 111In-DANBIRT. Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, 1–8. doi:10.1007/s12350-018-1244-5