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Manganese-enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MEMRI) evolved in the late nineties and relies upon the following three main properties of Mn2+: 1) it is a paramagnetic ion and an excellent T1 relaxivity; 2) it is a calcium (Ca2+) analog that can enter excitable cells (voltage-gated calcium receptor and calcium sensing receptor) and, 3) once in the cells Mn2+ can be transported along axons by microtubule-dependent axonal transport.
The above mentioned properties of Mn2+ make it a particularly attractive contrast agent for MRI in order to study physiology and physiopathology of:1. Brain 2. Heart 3. Salivary glands
4. Cancer Different animal models were prepared to investigate the application of Manganese as contrast agent by using a clinical 3T MR scanner and a prototype birdcage coil.The results of our study highlighted the potential utility of MEMRI as âfunctional toolâ in order to study the physiological activity of the brain, heart and salivary glands and the different expression of calcium sensing receptor in breast and prostate cancer.In conclusion, our results open the exploration of MEMRI as a new possible âimaging biomarkerâ of calcium metabolism in human disease. (Francesca Rosa, Luca Basso, Michele Cilli, Laura Emionite, Francesca Valdora, Daniele Pace, Carlo EmanueleNeumaier and Gabriella Baio, Manganese enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) as imaging biomarker of calcium channels)