Molecular imaging of inflammation in the ApoE -/- mouse model of atherosclerosis with IodoDPA

Catherine A. Foss*, Djahida Bedja, Ronnie C. Mease, Haofan Wang, David A. Kass, Subroto Chatterjee, Martin G. Pomper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background Atherosclerosis is a common and serious vascular disease predisposing individuals to myocardial infarction and stroke. Intravascular plaques, the pathologic lesions of atherosclerosis, are largely composed of cholesterol-laden luminal macrophage-rich infiltrates within a fibrous cap. The ability to detect those macrophages non-invasively within the aorta, carotid artery and other vessels would allow physicians to determine plaque burden, aiding management of patients with atherosclerosis. Methods and results We previously developed a low-molecular-weight imaging agent, [125I]iodo-DPA-713 (iodoDPA), which selectively targets macrophages. Here we use it to detect both intravascular macrophages and macrophage infiltrates within the myocardium in the ApoE -/- mouse model of atherosclerosis using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). SPECT data were confirmed by echocardiography, near-infrared fluorescence imaging and histology. SPECT images showed focal uptake of radiotracer at the aortic root in all ApoE -/- mice, while the age-matched controls were nearly devoid of radiotracer uptake. Focal radiotracer uptake along the descending aorta and within the myocardium was also observed in affected animals. Conclusions IodoDPA is a promising new imaging agent for atherosclerosis, with specificity for the macrophage component of the lesions involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2015


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