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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Enzyme-activatable imaging probe reveals enhanced neutrophil elastase activity in tumors following photodynamic therapy
Author(s): Soumya Mitra; Kshitij D. Modi; Thomas H. Foster

Paper Abstract

We demonstrate the use of an enzyme-activatable fluorogenic probe, Neutrophil Elastase 680 FAST (NE680), for in vivo imaging of neutrophil elastase (NE) activity in tumors subjected to photodynamic therapy (PDT). NE protease activity was assayed in SCC VII and EMT6 tumors established in C3H and BALB/c mice, respectively. Four nanomoles of NE680 was injected intravenously immediately following PDT irradiation. 5 h following administration of NE680, whole-mouse fluorescence imaging was performed. At this time point, levels of NE680 fluorescence were at least threefold greater in irradiated versus unirradiated SCC VII and EMT6 tumors sensitized with Photofrin. To compare possible photosensitizer-specific differences in therapy-induced elastase activity, EMT6 tumors were also subjected to 2-(1-hexyloxyethyl)-2-devinyl pyropheophorbide-a (HPPH)-PDT. NE levels measured in HPPH-PDT-treated tumors were twofold higher than in unirradiated controls. Ex vivo labeling of host cells using fluorophore-conjugated antibodies and confocal imaging were used to visualize Gr1 + cells in Photofrin-PDT-treated EMT6 tumors. These data were compared with recently reported analysis of Gr1 + cell accumulation in EMT6 tumors subjected to HPPH-PDT. The population density of infiltrating Gr1 + cells in treated versus unirradiated drug-only control tumors suggests that the differential in NE680 fold enhancement observed in Photofrin versus HPPH treatment may be attributed to the significantly increased inflammatory response induced by Photofrin-PDT. The in vivo imaging of NE680, which is a fluorescent reporter of NE extracellular release caused by neutrophil activation, demonstrates that PDT results in increased NE levels in treated tumors, and the accumulation of the cleaved probe tracks qualitatively with the intratumor Gr1 + cell population.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2013
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 18(10) 101314 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.10.101314
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 18, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
Soumya Mitra, Univ. of Rochester Medical Ctr. (United States)
Kshitij D. Modi, PerkinElmer, Inc. (United States)
Thomas H. Foster, Univ. of Rochester Medical Ctr. (United States)


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