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Molecules 2014, 19(7), 9876-9892;

Fluorescent Lectins for Local in Vivo Visualization of Peripheral Nerves

Interventional Molecular Imaging Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Hospital, Albinusdreef 2, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
Department of Head and Neck Oncology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Department of Bionanotechnology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8038, 6700EK Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2014 / Revised: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 1 July 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Probes)
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Damage to peripheral nerves caused during a surgical intervention often results in function loss. Fluorescence imaging has the potential to improve intraoperative identification and preservation of these structures. However, only very few nerve targeting agents are available. This study describes the in vivo nerve staining capabilities of locally administered fluorescent lectin-analogues. To this end WGA, PNA, PHA-L and LEL were functionalized with Cy5 (λex max 640 nm; λem max 680 nm). Transfer of these imaging agents along the sciatic nerve was evaluated in Thy1-YFP mice (n = 12) after intramuscular injection. Migration from the injection site was assessed in vivo using a laboratory fluorescence scanner and ex vivo via fluorescence confocal microscopy. All four lectins showed retrograde movement and staining of the epineurium with a signal-to-muscle ratio of around two. On average, the longest transfer distance was obtained with WGA-Cy5 (0.95 cm). Since WGA also gave minimal uptake in the lymphatic system, this lectin type revealed the highest potential as a migration imaging agent to visualize nerves. View Full-Text
Keywords: imaging agents; fluorescence; peripheral nerves; lectins; surgical guidance imaging agents; fluorescence; peripheral nerves; lectins; surgical guidance

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KleinJan, G.H.; Buckle, T.; van Willigen, D.M.; Oosterom, M.N.; Spa, S.J.; Kloosterboer, H.E.; van Leeuwen, F.W.B. Fluorescent Lectins for Local in Vivo Visualization of Peripheral Nerves. Molecules 2014, 19, 9876-9892.

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