In vivo imaging of human breast cancer mouse model with high level expression of calcium sensing receptor at 3T

Gabriella Baio, Marina Fabbi, Laura Emionite, Michele Cilli, Sandra Salvi, Piero Ghedin, Sabina Prato, Grazia Carbotti, Alberto Tagliafico, Mauro Truini, Carlo Emanuele Neumaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To demonstrate that manganese can visualise calcium sensing receptor (CaSR)-expressing cells in a human breast cancer murine model, as assessed by clinical 3T magnetic resonance (MR). Methods: Human MDA-MB-231-Luc or MCF7-Luc breast cancer cells were orthotopically grown in NOD/SCID mice to a minimum mass of 5 mm. Mice were evaluated on T1-weighted sequences before and after intravenous injection of MnCl 2. To block the CaSR-activated Ca 2+ channels, verapamil was injected at the tumour site 5 min before Mn 2+ administration. CaSR expression in vivo was studied by immunohistochemistry. Results: Contrast enhancement was observed at the tumour periphery 10 min after Mn 2+ administration, and further increased up to 40 min. In verapamil-treated mice, no contrast enhancement was observed. CaSR was strongly expressed at the tumour periphery. Conclusion: Manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging can visualise CaSR-expressing breast cancer cells in vivo, opening up possibilities for a new MR contrast agent. Key Points : • Manganese contrast agents helped demonstrate breast cancer cells in an animal model. • Enhancement was most marked in cells with high calcium sensing receptor expression. • Manganese uptake was related to the distribution of CaSR within the tumour. • Manganese MRI may become useful to investigate human breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Breast cancer
  • Calcium receptor
  • In vivo small animal MRI
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Manganese chloride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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