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MR imaging, targeting and characterization of pulmonary fibrosis using intra-tracheal administration of gadolinium-based nanoparticles

Abstract : Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating disease. Animal models are critical to develop new diagnostic approaches. We investigate here whether the application of an ultra-short echo time MRI sequence combined with the intra-tracheal administration of Gd-based nanoparticles can help to visualize and characterize pulmonary fibrosis in mice. 21 mice were imaged. Treated mice were administered bleomycin. MRI was used for longitudinal detection of bleomycin-induced lung injury from Day 1 up to Day 60. On Day 30, all mice received nanoparticles and MR images were acquired. A signal enhancement of 120% and 50% in fibrotic lesions and healthy tissues respectively was obtained. A twofold increase of contrast-to-noise ratio between fibrotic and healthy tissue was also observed, leading to a more accurate delineation of the extent of fibrosis. The elimination time constant of the nanoparticles was 54% higher in fibrotic lesions. Bleomycin-induced lung injury can be monitored using MRI. Intra-tracheal administration of Gd-based nanoparticles enabled us to enhance fibrotic tissue in lungs but also to extract imaging biomarkers that quantify elimination and diffusion of contrast agents and can characterize fibrotic tissue. The added value of MRI associated with pulmonary administration of contrast agents is key to better understand the lung fibrotic process and monitor drug response in pre-clinical studies, which will be valuable for transla-tional applications.
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Nawal Tassali, Andrea Bianchi, François Lux, Gérard Raffard, Stephane Sanchez, et al.. MR imaging, targeting and characterization of pulmonary fibrosis using intra-tracheal administration of gadolinium-based nanoparticles. Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, Wiley, 2016, 11 (5), pp.396-404. ⟨10.1002/cmmi.1703⟩. ⟨hal-02404863⟩

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