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Molecular imaging of lymphoid organs and immune activation by positron emission tomography with a new [18F]-labeled 2'-deoxycytidine analog.

  • Author(s): Radu, Caius G;
  • Shu, Chengyi J;
  • Nair-Gill, Evan;
  • Shelly, Stephanie M;
  • Barrio, Jorge R;
  • Satyamurthy, Nagichettiar;
  • Phelps, Michael E;
  • Witte, Owen N
  • et al.

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Monitoring immune function with molecular imaging could have a considerable impact on the diagnosis and treatment evaluation of immunological disorders and therapeutic immune responses. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a molecular imaging modality with applications in cancer and other diseases. PET studies of immune function have been limited by a lack of specialized probes. We identified [(18)F]FAC (1-(2'-deoxy-2'-[(18)F]fluoroarabinofuranosyl) cytosine) by differential screening as a new PET probe for the deoxyribonucleotide salvage pathway. [(18)F]FAC enabled visualization of lymphoid organs and was sensitive to localized immune activation in a mouse model of antitumor immunity. [(18)F]FAC microPET also detected early changes in lymphoid mass in systemic autoimmunity and allowed evaluation of immunosuppressive therapy. These data support the use of [(18)F]FAC PET for immune monitoring and suggest a wide range of clinical applications in immune disorders and in certain types of cancer.

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