Imaging of MMP activity in postischemic cardiac remodeling using radiolabeled MMP-2/9 activatable peptide probes

S.M.J. Duijnhoven, van, M.S. Robillard, S. Hermann, M.T. Kuhlmann, M. Schäfers, K. Nicolay, H. Grüll

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    The noninvasive imaging of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity in postischemic myocardial tissue holds great promise to predict cardiac function post-myocardial infarction. Consequently, development of MMP specific molecular imaging probes for noninvasive visualization and quantification of MMP activity is of great interest. A novel MMP imaging strategy is based on activatable cell-penetrating peptide probes (ACPP) that are sensitive to the proteolytic activity of MMP-2 and -9. The MMP-mediated activation of these ACPPs drives probe accumulation at the target site. The aim of this study was the development and characterization of radiolabeled MMP-2/9 sensitive ACPPs to assess MMP activity in myocardial remodeling in vivo. Specifically, a short and long-circulating MMP activatable cell-penetrating imaging probe (ACPP and Alb-ACPP, respectively; the latter is an ACPP modified with an albumin binding ligand that prolongs blood clearance) were successfully synthesized and radiolabeled. Subsequently, their biodistributions were determined in vivo in a Swiss mouse model of myocardial infarction. Both peptide probes showed a significantly higher uptake in infarcted myocardium compared to remote myocardium. The biodistribution for dual-isotope radiolabeled probes, which allowed us to discriminate between uncleaved ACPP and activated ACPP, showed increased retention of activated ACPP and activated Alb-ACPP in infarcted myocardium compared to remote myocardium. The enhanced retention correlated to gelatinase levels determined by gelatin zymography, whereas no correlation was found for the negative control: an MMP-2/9 insensitive non-ACPP. In conclusion, radiolabeled MMP sensitive ACPP probes enable to assess MMP activity in the course of remodeling post-myocardial infarction in vivo. Future research should evaluate the feasibility and the predictive value of the ACPP strategy for assessing MMP activity as a main player in postinfarction myocardial remodeling in vivo. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1415-1423
    Number of pages9
    JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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