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Noninvasive Optical Imaging of Glomerulonephritis

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Technical Report,15 May 2017,15 Nov 2018

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The Washington University St. Louis United States

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We have identified new near-infrared fluorescence NIRF probes that specifically detect the presence of glomerulonephritis. This was achieved using two innovative technologies 1 fluorescence molecular tomography FMT, an optical imaging approach that noninvasively monitors biologic processes quantitatively and in three-dimensions utilizing probes that fluoresce in the near-infrared spectrum of light and 2 activatable NIRF probes, which leverage fluorescence in the near-infrared range 650-900 nm excited by nonionizing radiation, is minimally absorbed by water and hemoglobin, and activates in the presence of an enzyme that is in high concentrations in a tissue of interest. We found that NIRF probes activated by either cathepsin B or elastase, which derive from inflammatory macrophages and neutrophils respectively, correlate with the onset of proteinuria induced by experimental glomerulonephritis GN in mice. Two models of GN were used nephrotoxic nephritis and the MRLlpr lupus model. Importantly, this finding was specific for GN, as another model of renal injury, the CD2AP knockout mouse which models focal segmental glomerulonephritis yielded poor cathepsin B and elastase induced signals. These data support their use as a novel tool to detect GN, and possible application in humans for the detection of inflammatory kidney disease.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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