New positron emission tomography (PET) imaging method could detect inflammation sites in the digestive system in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that approximately three million Americans reported being diagnosed with IBD in 2015 (latest data). Managing patients with chronic bowel inflammation can be challenging, relying on symptoms and invasive procedures such as colonoscopy and biopsy.
In a mouse model of colitis, this study uses PET imaging with antibody fragment probes (immunoPET) to target a specific subset of immune cells, the CD4+ T cells, which are characteristic of IBD.
A zirconium-89 (89Zr)-labeled anti-CD4 engineered antibody fragment [GK1.5 cDb] was used for noninvasive imaging of the distribution of CD4+ T cells in the mice with induced colitis, and it successfully detected CD4+ T cells in the colon, ceca, and mesenteric lymph nodes. The study demonstrates that CD4 immunoPET of IBD warrants further investigation and has the potential to guide the development of antibody-based imaging in humans with IBD.
Wu points out that the ability to directly image immune responses could have wide applications, saying, "It could unlock our ability to assess inflammation in a broad spectrum of disease areas, including oncology and immune-oncology, auto-immunity, cardiovascular disease, neuroinflammation, and more. ImmunoPET is a robust and general platform for visualization of highly specific molecular targets."