DOI: 10.1186/s13550-018-0394-4Pages: 1-9

Evaluation of hepatic integrin αvβ3 expression in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) model mouse by 18F-FPP-RGD2 PET

1. Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Translational Research Unit, Biomarker R&D Department

2. Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Obesity and Metabolic Diseases, Drug Discovery and Disease Research Laboratory

3. Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Department of Applied Chemistry and Analysis, Research Laboratory for Development

4. Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Imaging in Medicine

5. Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Tracer Kinetics

6. Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, PET Molecular Imaging Center

Correspondence to:
Takemi Rokugawa
Tel: +81-6-6331-7581
Email: takemi.rokugawa@shionogi.co.jp

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Abstract

Background

Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which express integrin αvβ3, are a major fibrogenic factor in NASH pathophysiology. 18F-labeled cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid penta-peptide (18F-FPP-RGD2) has been used as a PET probe for tumors expressing integrin αvβ3. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of PET with 18F-FPP-RGD2 to detect hepatic integrin αvβ3 expression in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) model mice.

Results

Thirty-two male C57BL/6 mice aged 6 weeks were fed a choline-deficient, l-amino acid-defined, high-fat diet (CDAHFD) for 3 and 8 weeks. 18F-FPP-RGD2 PET imaging of the liver was performed at 3 and 8 weeks after CDAHFD feeding. After PET scanning, levels of hepatic integrin αvβ, 3α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and collagen type 1 alpha 1(col1a1) were measured. Histopathological analysis of hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis, as well as blood biochemistry analysis, was also performed. CDAHFD for 3 and 8 weeks produced a moderate-to-severe steatosis and inflammation of the liver in mice. NAFLD activity score (NAS) in mice fed the CDAHFD for 3 and 8 weeks were more than 4 indicating NASH or borderline NASH pathology. Fibrosis was observed only in mice fed the CDAHFD for 8 weeks. PET imaging showed that the hepatic standardized uptake value, SUV80–90 min, was increased with prolonged CDAHFD feeding compared with the respective controls (CDAHFD 3 weeks 0.32 ± 0.06 vs 0.48 ± 0.05, p < 0.01; CDAHFD 8 weeks 0.35 ± 0.04 vs 0.75 ± 0.07, p < 0.01, respectively). Prolonged CDAHFD feeding increased hepatic mRNA and protein levels of integrin αv and β3 at 3 and 8 weeks. Hepatic 18F-FPP-RGD2 uptake and amount of integrin αv and β3 protein were well correlated (r = 0.593, p < 0.05 and r = 0.835, p < 0.001, respectively). Hepatic 18F-FPP-RGD2 uptake also showed a positive correlation with Sirius red-positive area.

Conclusions

The hepatic uptake of 18F-FPP-RGD2 correlated well with integrin αv and β3 expression and histological fibrosis in a mouse model of NASH, suggesting the predictability of fibrosis in NASH pathology.

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  • Accepted: May 1, 2018
  • Online: May 31, 2018

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