Theranostics 2018; 8(5):1195-1212. doi:10.7150/thno.22662 This issue


Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Endothelial Activation in the Central Nervous System

Maxime Gauberti1,2✉, Antoine P. Fournier1, Fabian Docagne1, Denis Vivien1,3, Sara Martinez de Lizarrondo1✉

1. Normandie Univ, UNICAEN, INSERM, INSERM UMR-S U1237, Physiopathology and Imaging for Neurological Disorders (PhIND), Cyceron, 14000 Caen, France.
2. CHU Caen, Department of diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology, CHU de Caen Côte de Nacre, Caen, France.
3. CHU Caen, Clinical Research Department, CHU de Caen Côte de Nacre, Caen, France.

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Gauberti M, Fournier AP, Docagne F, Vivien D, Martinez de Lizarrondo S. Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Endothelial Activation in the Central Nervous System. Theranostics 2018; 8(5):1195-1212. doi:10.7150/thno.22662. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Endothelial cells of the central nervous system over-express surface proteins during neurological disorders, either as a cause, or a consequence, of the disease. Since the cerebral vasculature is easily accessible by large contrast-carrying particles, it constitutes a target of choice for molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this review, we highlight the most recent advances in molecular MRI of brain endothelial activation and focus on the development of micro-sized particles of iron oxide (MPIO) targeting adhesion molecules including intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), P-Selectin and E-Selectin. We also discuss the perspectives and challenges for the clinical application of this technology in neurovascular disorders (ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, diabetes mellitus), neuroinflammatory disorders (multiple sclerosis, brain infectious diseases, sepsis), neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, aging) and brain cancers (primitive neoplasms, metastasis).

Keywords: leucocytes, lymphocytes, neuroinflammation, ultra-small particles of iron oxide (USPIO), antibodies