China Oncology ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 119-124.doi: 10.19401/j.cnki.1007-3639.2019.02.004

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A dual-modality SPECT/MR probe of 99mTc-Transferrin-DTPA-Gd for the detection of tumor transferrin receptor expression in vivo

GU Bingxin1,2,3, SUN Yuyun1,2,3, YANG Zhongyi1,2,3, LUO Jianmin1,2,3, ZHANG Jianping1,2,3, ZHANG Yingjian1,2,3   

  1. 1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China; 2. Center for Biomedical Imaging, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China; 3. Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Molecular Imaging Probes, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Online:2019-02-28 Published:2019-03-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Yingjian E-mail:

Abstract: Background and purpose: Transferrin (Tf) receptor (TfR) is expressed broadly in malignant cells, and has been developed as a target for anti-tumor therapy. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of 99mTc-Tf-DTPA-Gd noninvasively detecting tumor TfR expression in vivo. Methods: We established 10 xenograft tumor models with mice. 99mTc-Tf-DTPA-Gd and Tf-DTPA-Gd were injected into mice via tail vein respectively, and 4 hours later single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/ computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were acquired. The values of target-to-muscle ratios (T/M) and relative signal enhancement (rSE) were calculated by drawing regions of interest (ROI) in tumors. H-E staining and immunohistochemistry detection were applied when imaging was completed. Statistical analysis was performed using two-sample t test. Results: The tumors were clearly visible except PC-3 after administration with 99mTc-Tf-DTPA-Gd. The value of T/M between MDA-MB-468 and PC-3 showed statistically significant difference (t=6.919, P=0.002). In MRI experiment, the tumor of MDAMB-468 was enhanced distinctly, while the signal of PC-3 tumor approximated the pre-injection. The rSE between MDA-MB-468 and PC-3 also showed statistically significant difference (t=8.441, P=0.001). Immunohistochemistry staining showed 9 of these xenograft tumor models expressing TfR in various degree rather than PC-3 tumor. Conclusion: 99mTc-Tf-DTPA-Gd could serve as an ideal probe for detecting tumor TfR expression in vivo noninvasively.

Key words: Transferrin receptor, Molecular imaging, Dual-modality, Magnetic resonance imaging, Immunohistochemistry