We are developing quantitative assays to repeatedly and noninvasively image expression of reporter genes in living animals, using positron emission tomography (PET). We synthesized positron-emitting 8-[18F]fluoroganciclovir (FGCV) and demonstrated that this compound is a substrate for the herpes simplex virus 1 thymidine kinase enzyme (HSV1-TK). Using positron-emitting FGCV as a PET reporter probe, we imaged adenovirus-directed hepatic expression of the HSV1-tk reporter gene in living mice. There is a significant positive correlation between the percent injected dose of FGCV retained per gram of liver and the levels of hepatic HSV1-tk reporter gene expression (r2 > 0.80). Over a similar range of HSV1-tk expression in vivo, the percent injected dose retained per gram of liver was 0-23% for ganciclovir and 0-3% for FGCV. Repeated, noninvasive, and quantitative imaging of PET reporter gene expression should be a valuable tool for studies of human gene therapy, of organ/cell transplantation, and of both environmental and behavioral modulation of gene expression in transgenic mice.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 2 1999|
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