Macrophage infiltration is a prominent feature of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) progression. We used a combined imaging approach with bioluminescence (BLI) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study macrophage homing and accumulation in experimental AAA disease. Murine AAAs were created via intra-aortic infusion of porcine pancreatic elastase. Mice were imaged over 14 days after injection of prepared peritoneal macrophages. For BLI, macrophages were from transgenic mice expressing luciferase. For MRI, macrophages were labeled with iron oxide particles. Macrophage accumulation during aneurysm progression was observed by in situ BLI and by in vivo 7T MRI. Mice were sacrificed after imaging for histologic analysis. In situ BLI (n = 32) demonstrated high signal in the AAA by days 7 and 14, which correlated significantly with macrophage number and aortic diameter. In vivo 7T MRI (n = 13) at day 14 demonstrated T 2* signal loss in the AAA and not in sham mice. Immunohistochemistry and Prussian blue staining confirmed the presence of injected macrophages in the AAA. BLI and MRI provide complementary approaches to track macrophage homing and accumulation in experimental AAAs. Similar dual imaging strategies may aid the study of AAA biology and the evaluation of novel therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Condensed Matter Physics