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Noninvasive Radionuclide Molecular Imaging of the CD4-Positive T Lymphocytes in Acute Cardiac Rejection

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posted on 2021-01-28, 14:10 authored by Huiling Li, Yihan Chen, Qiaofeng Jin, Ya Wu, Cheng Deng, Yongkang Gai, Zhenxing Sun, Yuman Li, Jing Wang, Yali Yang, Qing Lv, Yongxue Zhang, Rui An, Xiaoli Lan, Li Zhang, Mingxing Xie
Heart transplantation (HT) is an effective treatment for end-stage heart disease. However, acute rejection (AR) is still the main cause of death within one year after HT. AR is an acute immune response mediated by T lymphocytes, mainly CD4+ T lymphocytes. This study innovatively develops a radiolabeled probe 99mTc-HYNIC-mAbCD4 for noninvasive visualization of CD4+ T lymphocyte infiltration and detection of AR. The 99mTc-HYNIC-mAbCD4 and its isotype control 99mTc-HYNIC-IgG were successfully prepared and characterized. The specificity and affinity of the probe in vitro were assessed by cell-binding experiments. Binding of 99mTc-HYNIC-mAbCD4 to CD4+ T lymphocytes was higher than that of the macrophages and IgG probe groups, and mAbCD4 was effective in the blockade of the binding reaction. The biodistribution data confirmed the SPECT/CT images, with significantly higher levels of 99mTc-HYNIC-mAbCD4 observed in allografts compared to allograft treatment (10 mg/kg/d Cyclosporin A subcutaneously for 5 consecutive days after surgery), isografts, or in rats which received allografts injected with 99mTc-HYNIC-IgG. Histological examination confirmed more CD4+ T lymphocyte infiltration in the allograft hearts than other groups. In summary, 99mTc-HYNIC-mAbCD4 achieved high affinity and specificity of binding to CD4+ T lymphocytes and accumulation in the transplanted heart. Radionuclide molecular imaging with 99mTc-HYNIC-mAbCD4 may be a potential diagnostic method for acute cardiac rejection.

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