Purpose: To investigate the potential value of MRI for non-invasive assessment of angiogenesis in a murine model exploiting the properties of two contrast agents, gadoteridol (ProHance) and gadocoletic acid trisodium salt (B22956/1). Materials and Methods: Biocompatible sponges were implanted in both mice flanks. Stimulated sponges contained human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) as the angiogenic agent: control sponges contained vehicle. Angiogenesis was evaluated by MRI after injection of extravascular (ProHance) or blood-pool (B22956/1) contrast agents at different times after sponge implantation. Sponges signal intensity enhancement was calculated both as the relative enhancement and the rate of relative enhancement. Results from MRI were validated by classic biochemical (hemoglobin level and protein content) and morphological (histology) assays. Results: The intrinsic different properties of ProHance and B22956/1 in wash-in and wash-out kinetics were useful to detect progressive vascularization and the establishment of a functional vascular network in the implants. Moreover, MRI allowed the appreciation of differences in neovessel colonization between bFGF-treated sponges and controls. Hemoglobin level, protein content, and histology confirmed the sponge vascularization and MRI results. Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced MRI is a reliable tool to study vascular characteristics in animal models of angiogenesis. The different kinetic properties of contrast agents can provide evidence of different functional neovascularization aspects and levels.
- Angiogenesis model
- Contrast agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology