Disorders of skeletal muscle are often associated with inflammation and alterations in redox status. A non-invasive technique that could localize and evaluate the severity of skeletal muscle inflammation based on its redox environment would be useful for disease identification and monitoring, and for the development of treatments; however, no such technique currently exists. We describe a method for redox imaging of skeletal muscle using dynamic nuclear polarization magnetic resonance imaging (DNP-MRI), and apply this method to an animal model of local inflammation. Female C57/BL6 mice received injections of 0.5% bupivacaine into their gastrocnemius muscles. Plasma biomarkers, myeloperoxidase activity, and histological sections were assessed at 4 and 24 h after bupivacaine injection to measure the inflammatory response. In vivo DNP-MRI was performed with the nitroxyl radicals carbamoyl-PROXYL (cell permeable) and carboxy-PROXYL (cell impermeable) as molecular imaging probes at 4 and 24 h after bupivacaine administration. The images obtained after carbamoyl-PROXYL administration were confirmed with the results of L-band EPR spectroscopy. The plasma biomarkers, myeloperoxidase activity, and histological findings indicated that bupivacaine injection caused acute muscle damage and inflammation. DNP-MRI images of mice treated with carbamoyl-PROXYL or carboxy-PROXYL at 4 and 24 h after bupivacaine injection showed similar increases in image intensity and decay rate was significantly increased at 24 h. In addition, reduction rates in individual mice at 4 h and 24 h showed faster trends with bupivacaine injection than in their contralateral sides by image-based analysis. These findings indicate that in vivo DNP-MRI with nitroxyl radicals can non-invasively detect changes in the focal redox status of muscle resulting from locally-induced inflammation.
Eto, H., Hyodo, F., Kosem, N., Kobayashi, R., Yasukawa, K., Nakao, M., … Utsumi, H. (2015). Redox imaging of skeletal muscle using in vivo DNP-MRI and its application to an animal model of local inflammation. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 89, 1097–1104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2015.10.418