Single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography imaging of RAGE in smoking-induced lung injury

Goldklang, Monica P.; Tekabe, Yared; Zelonina, Tina; Trischler, Jordis; Xiao, Rui; Stearns, Kyle; Rodriguez, Krissy; Shields, Alexander; Romanov, Alexander; D’Armiento, Jeanine M.; Johnson, Lynne L.

Expression of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts (RAGE) initiates pro-inflammatory pathways resulting in lung destruction. We hypothesized that RAGE directed imaging demonstrates increased lung uptake in smoke-exposure.

After exposure to room air or to cigarette smoke for 4-weeks or 16-weeks, rabbits were injected with 99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab’)2 and underwent Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/Computed Tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging. Lung radiotracer uptake was calculated as percent injected dose (%ID). Lungs were dissected for gamma well counting and histological analysis.

99mTc-anti-RAGE F(ab’)2 SPECT/CT imaging demonstrated increased lung expression of RAGE with smoke exposure compared to room air control at 4-weeks: Room air right (R) 0.75 ± 0.38%ID, left (L) 0.62 ± 0.32%ID vs. Smoke exposed R 0.17 ± 0.03, L 0.17 ± 0.02%ID (p = 0.02 and 0.028, respectively). By 16-weeks of smoke exposure, the uptake decreased to 0.19 ± 0.05%ID R and 0.17 ± 0.05%ID L, significantly lower than 4-week imaging (p = 0.0076 and 0.0129 respectively). Staining for RAGE confirmed SPECT results, with the RAGE ligand HMGB1 upregulated in the macrophages of 4-week smoke-exposed rabbits.

RAGE-directed imaging identified pulmonary RAGE expression acutely in vivo in an animal model of emphysema early after smoke exposure, with diminution over time. These studies document the extent and time course of RAGE expression under smoke exposure conditions and could be utilized for disease monitoring and examining response to future RAGE-targeted therapies.


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Respiratory Research

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Published Here
August 10, 2022


Emphysema, Cigarette smoke, Rabbit, Damage-associated molecular pattern, Imaging, Receptor for advanced glycation end products, HGMB1