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Title: In vivo fluorescence imaging of E-selectin : quantitative detection of endothelial activation in arthritis
Author: Gompels, Luke
ISNI:       0000 0004 2695 8620
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic progressive systemic inflammatory disease, characterized by synovial inflammation and localized destruction of cartilage and bone. Heterogeneity in the clinical presentation of RA and uncertainty about which patients will respond to treatment makes diagnosis and management challenging. Fluorescent imaging in the near infrared (NIR) spectrum significantly decreases tissue autofluorescence offering unique potential to detect specific molecular targets in vivo. E-selectin or endothelial adhesion molecule-1 (ELAM-1), a 115kDa glycoprotein induced on endothelial cells in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in RA, such as interleukin (IL)-1 beta and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). E-selectin has been well validated as a potential biomarker of disease activity. My study aimed to investigate whether E-selectin targeted optical imaging in vivo could be developed as a sensitive, specific and quantifiable preclinical molecular imaging technique, and also whether this approach could be used to delineate the molecular effects of novel therapies. I utilised anti-E-selectin antibody labelled with NIR fluorophore in a mouse model of paw swelling induced by intra-plantar injection of TNF alpha, and in acute collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in DBA/1 mice, a widely used model of RA. E-selectin generated signal, localised to points of maximal clinical inflammation in the inflamed mouse paw in both models with significant differences to control antibody. Binding of anti-E-selectin antibody was also demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in both models. The ability of E-selectin targeted imaging to detect sub-clinical endothelial activation was also investigated, demonstrating that E-selectin may be an excellent way of determining subclinical vascular activation in CIA. Finally the effect of novel targeted therapy – RB200 which blocks epidermal growth factor (EGF) signalling was investigated. This demonstrated that E-selectin targeted signal could be absolutely abrogated to a level seen in unimmunised healthy control animals, following combination treatment with RB200 and the TNF alpha inhibitor etanercept. E-selectin targeted optical imaging is a viable in vivo imaging technique that can also be applied to quantify disease and investigate the effects of novel molecular therapies. It holds significant promise as a molecular imaging technique for future translation into the clinic for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Supervisor: Paleolog, Ewa ; Haskard, Dorian Sponsor: Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral