Author(s): Frullano L, Zhu J, Wang C, Wu C, Miller RH,
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Abstract The vertebrate nervous system is characterized by myelination, a fundamental biological process that protects the axons and facilitates electric pulse transduction. Damage to myelin is considered a major effect of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Currently, therapeutic interventions are focused on protecting myelin integrity and promoting myelin repair. These efforts need to be accompanied by an effective imaging tool that correlates the disease progression with the extent of myelination. To date, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the primary imaging technique to detect brain lesions in MS. However, conventional MRI cannot differentiate demyelinated lesions from other inflammatory lesions and therefore cannot predict disease progression in MS. To address this problem, we have prepared a Gd-based contrast agent, termed MIC (myelin imaging compound), which binds to myelin with high specificity. In this work, we demonstrate that MIC exhibits a high kinetic stability toward transmetalation with promising relaxometric properties. MIC was used for in vivo imaging of myelination following intracerebroventricular infusion in the rat brain. MIC was found to distribute preferentially in highly myelinated regions and was able to detect regions of focally induced demyelination.
This article was published in J Med Chem
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology