Molecular Imaging of Cardiovascular Diseases - Projects

Non-invasive measurement of receptor and gene expression on a low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) knockout mouse model, we have developed MR imaging and spec method to evaluate the restoration of LDLR gene expression.

The long term goal of this project is to develop a report-gene approach combined with non-invasive imaging/spectroscopic methods for quantification of transgene expression in the liver, which is a major target organ for gene therapies aimed at correcting metabolic disorder (such as familial hypercholesterolemia) or cancer.

Receptor and Gene Expression

Figure 3. Creatine kinase (CK) expression in the mouse liver detected by in vivo 31P MR spectroscopy (left panel) and quantification of CK concentration (proportional to CK flux) by a progressive saturation transfer experiment (right panel). The phosphorus creatine (PCr) resonance only occurs in the liver transfected with creatine kinase (CK), which is not normally expressed in the liver. The ?-ATP (arrow head) is saturated for the time indicated on the right side.