MRI contrast agents that affect water proton relaxation lack sensitivity or specificity for molecular imaging of disease. Specific extracellular targets (e.g., ions, metabolites) can be imaged with MRI probes which have exchangeable protons. The chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) technique detects exchange between bulk water protons and -NHx or -OH protons in diamagnetic molecules or protons of an inner sphere of bound water that is shifted by the paramagnetic core of a lanthanide III (Ln3+) ion. Although paramagnetic CEST or PARACEST agents - especially derivatives of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate (DOTA4-) - have great translational potential, quantitative molecular imaging is limited by contributions to the CEST effect from unmeasured influences of the agent's concentration and local environment (i.e., temperature and pH). We propose a new class of DOTA ligands containing Ln3+ that will allow measurement of these parameters while still retaining the CEST effect for an extracellular target. It is well known that paramagnetic complexes of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane, primarily used as MRS shift agents, have several non- exchangeable protons that are easily detectable for agent concentration assessment and furthermore these signals are very sensitive to temperature and pH. Thus biosensor imaging of redundant deviation in shifts (BIRDS) of non-exchangeable protons (in

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Molecular imaging of extracellular targets with MRI is possible by detecting water-exchangeable protons in paramagnetic macrocyclics with chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). However CEST is limited by unknown influences of the agent's concentration and local environment (i.e., temperature and pH). Since MRS shift agents contain non-exchangeable protons for appraisal of these unmeasured parameters with biosensor imaging of redundant deviation in shifts (BIRDS), the new class of multivalent paramagnetic agents will contain both BIRDS and CEST properties for quantitative molecular imaging.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-A (50))
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Liu, Christina
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Yale University
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
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Coman, Daniel; Huang, Yuegao; Rao, Jyotsna U et al. (2016) Imaging the intratumoral-peritumoral extracellular pH gradient of gliomas. NMR Biomed 29:309-19
Huang, Yuegao; Coman, Daniel; Herman, Peter et al. (2016) Towards longitudinal mapping of extracellular pH in gliomas. NMR Biomed 29:1364-72
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Huang, Yuegao; Coman, Daniel; Hyder, Fahmeed et al. (2015) Dendrimer-Based Responsive MRI Contrast Agents (G1-G4) for Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation in Shifts (BIRDS). Bioconjug Chem 26:2315-23
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