Noninvasive biomarkers of anti-tumoral efficacy are of great importance to the development of therapeutic agents. Tumor oxygenation has been shown to be an important indicator of therapeutic response. We report the use of intracellular labeling of tumor cells with perfluorocarbon (PFC) molecules, combined with quantitative 19 F spin-lattice relaxation rate (R 1 ) measurements, to assay tumor cell oxygen dynamics in situ. In a murine central nervous system (CNS) GL261 glioma model, we visualized the impact of Pmel-1 cytotoxic T cell immunotherapy, delivered intravenously, on intracellular tumor oxygen levels. GL261 glioma cells were labeled ex vivo with PFC and inoculated into the mouse striatum. The R 1 of 19 F labeled cells was measured using localized single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the absolute intracellular partial pressure of oxygen (pO 2 ) was ascertained. Three days after tumor implantation, mice were treated with 2×10 7 cytotoxic T cells intravenously. At day five, a transient spike in pO 2 was observed indicating an influx of T cells into the CNS and putative tumor cell apoptosis. Immunohistochemistry and quantitative flow cytometry analysis confirmed that the pO 2 was causally related to the T cells infiltration. Surprisingly, the pO 2 spike was detected even though few (∼4×10 4 ) T cells actually ingress into the CNS and with minimal tumor shrinkage. These results indicate the high sensitivity of this approach and its utility as a non-invasive surrogate biomarker of anti-cancer immunotherapeutic response in preclinical models. © 2013 Zhong et al.
Zhong, J., Sakaki, M., Okada, H., & Ahrens, E. T. (2013). In Vivo Intracellular Oxygen Dynamics in Murine Brain Glioma and Immunotherapeutic Response of Cytotoxic T Cells Observed by Fluorine-19 Magnetic Resonance Imaging. PLoS ONE, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059479