Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Myocardial Angiogenesis After Acute Myocardial Infarction

Marlies Oostendorp, Kim Douma, Allard Wagenaar, Jos M. G. M. Slenter, Tilman M. Hackeng, Marc A. M. J. van Zandvoort, Mark J. Post, Walter H. Backes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background-Angiogenesis is a natural mechanism to restore perfusion to the ischemic myocardium after acute myocardial infarction (MI). Therapeutic angiogenesis is being explored as a novel treatment for MI patients; however, sensitive, noninvasive in vivo measures of therapeutic efficacy are lacking and need to be developed. Here, a molecular magnetic resonance imaging method is presented to noninvasively image angiogenic activity in vivo in a murine model of MI with cyclic Asn-Gly-Arg (cNGR)-labeled paramagnetic quantum dots (pQDs). The tripeptide cNGR homes specifically to CD13, an aminopeptidase that is strongly upregulated during myocardial angiogenesis. Methods and Results-Acute MI was induced in male Swiss mice via permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Molecular magnetic resonance imaging was performed 7 days after surgery and up to 2 hours after intravenous contrast agent administration. Injection of cNGR-pQDs resulted in a strong negative contrast that was located mainly in the infarcted myocardium. This negative contrast was significantly less in MI mice injected with unlabeled pQDs and in sham-operated mice injected with cNGR-pQDs. Validation with ex vivo 2-photon laser scanning microscopy revealed a strong colocalization of cNGR-pQDs with vascular endothelial cells, whereas unlabeled pQDs were mostly extravasated and diffused through the tissue. Additionally, 2-photon laser scanning microscopy demonstrated significant microvascular remodeling in the infarct/border zones compared with remote myocardium. Conclusions-cNGR-pQDs allow selective, noninvasive detection of angiogenic activity in the infarcted heart with the use of in vivo molecular magnetic resonance imaging and ex vivo 2-photon laser scanning microscopy. (Circulation. 2010; 121: 775-783.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-U85
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2010


  • angiogenesis
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • microcirculation
  • myocardial infarction


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Myocardial Angiogenesis After Acute Myocardial Infarction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this