Longitudinal Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Endothelial Activation after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Gloria Vegliante, Daniele Tolomeo, Antoine Drieu, Marina Rubio, Edoardo Micotti, Federico Moro, Denis Vivien, Gianluigi Forloni, Carine Ali, Elisa R Zanier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability. Despite progress in neurosurgery and critical care, patients still lack a form of neuroprotective treatment that can counteract or attenuate injury progression. Inflammation after TBI is a key modulator of injury progression and neurodegeneration, but its spatiotemporal dissemination is only partially known. In vivo approaches to study post-traumatic inflammation longitudinally are pivotal for monitoring injury progression/recovery and the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches. Here, we provide a minimally invasive, highly sensitive in vivo molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characterization of endothelial activation associated to neuroinflammatory response after severe TBI in mice, using microparticles of iron oxide targeting P-selectin (MPIOs-α-P-selectin). Strong endothelial activation was detected from 24 h in perilesional regions, including the cortex and hippocampus, and peaked in intensity and diffusion at two days, then partially decreased but persisted up to seven days and was back to baseline 15 days after injury. There was a close correspondence between MPIOs-α-P-selectin signal voids and the P-selectin stained area, confirming maximal endothelial activation at two days. Molecular MRI markers of inflammation may thus represent a useful tool to evaluate in vivo endothelial activation in TBI and monitoring the responses to therapeutic agents targeting vascular activation and permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2019


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