Background Cancer patients undergoing Doxorubicin (DOX) treatment are susceptible to acute and chronic cardiac anomalies, including aberrant arrhythmias, ventricular dysfunction, and heart failure. To stratify patients at high risk for DOX -related heart failure (CHF), diagnostic techniques have been sought. While echocardiography is used for monitoring LVEF and LV volumes due to its wide-availability and cost-efficiency, it may not identify early stages of the initiation of DOX-induced systolic heart failure. To address these limitations, PET tracers could also provide noninvasive assessment of early and reversible metabolic changes of the myocardium. Objective Herein, we report a preliminary investigation of 68Ga-Galmydar potential to monitor Doxinduced cardiomyopathy in vivo, ex vivo, and in cellulo employing both nuclear- and optical imaging. Methods and results To assess 68Ga-Galmydar ability for monitoring DOX-induced cardiomyopathy, microPET imaging was performed 5 d post treatment of rats either with a single dose of DOX (15 mg/ kg) or vehicle as a control (saline) and images were co-registered for anatomical reference using CT. Following tail-vein injection of the radiotracer in rats at 60 min, micro-PET/CT static scan (10 min acquisition), 68Ga-Galmydar demonstrated 1.91-fold lower uptake in hearts of DOX-treated (standard uptake value; SUV: 0.92, n = 3) rats compared with their vehicle treated (SUV: 1.76, n = 3) control counterparts. For correlation of PET imaging data, post-imaging quantitative biodistribution studies were also performed, wherein excisedorgans were counted for γ activity, and normalized to injected dose. The post imaging pharmacokinetic data also demonstrated heart uptake values of 2.0 fold lower for DOX treated rats(%ID/g; DOX: 0.44 ± 0.1, n = 3) compared to their vehicle-treated controls (%ID/g; Control: 0.89 ± 0.03, n = 3, p = 0.04). Employing the fluorescent traits of Galmydar, live cell fluorescence imaging indicated a gradual decrease in uptake and retention of Galmydar within mitochondria of H9c2 cells following DOX-treatment, while indicating dose-dependent and time-dependent uptake profiles. Following depolarization of electronegative transmembrane gradients at the mitochondrial membrane, the uptake of the probe was decreased in H9c2 cells, and the uptake profiles were found to be identical, using both fluorescence and radiotracer bioassays. Finally, the decreased uptake of the metalloprobe in H9c2 cells also correlated with caspase-3 expression resulting from DOX-induced cardiotoxicity and cell death. Conclusions 68Ga-Galmydar could provide a noninvasive assessment of DOX-related and likely reversible metabolic changes at earliest stages. Further studies with other chemotherapeutics (potentially capable of inducing cardiomyopathy) are underway.
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