PLoS One 2016 7;11(11):e0165532. Epub 2016 Nov 7.
Department of Surgery, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany.
Purpose: To investigate multiparametric functional MRI to characterize acute rejection in a murine allogeneic renal transplant model and evaluate the effect of novel therapeutics.
Material And Methods: We performed allogeneic and syngeneic orthotopic transplantations (Balb/c to C57Bl/6 and C57Bl/6 to C57Bl/6). Allogeneic Groups (n = 5) were either treated with the anti-CCL2-Spiegelmer (mNOX-E36) in monotherapy or in combination with low doses of Ciclosporin-A (10mg/kgBW/d) for 10 days. Controls received equivalent doses of a non-functional spiegelmer (revmNOX-E36) or low dose Ciclosporin-A. Diffusion-weighted (DWI) and Dynamic-contrast-enhanced (DCE-) MRI-scans were performed using a clinical 3T-scanner. DWI analysis (b-values from 0-800 s/mm2) was performed mono- and biexponentially, while DCE-MRI was assessed with deconvolution analysis. Therapy effects were assessed ex vivo with histopathology, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Statistical analysis was performed with unpaired t-tests and Spearman´s correlation coefficient.
Results: DWI showed a significant diffusion restriction in allogeneic compared to syngeneic transplants (ADC: 0.63±0.08 vs. 1.29±0.12 mm2/s*103) with decreasing diffusion restriction under therapy. DCE-MRI showed restored organ perfusion under Ciclosporin A alone and combination therapy (Plasma Flow: 43.43±12.49; 38.75±7.53ml/100ml/min) compared to syngeneic controls (51.03±12.49ml/100ml/min). Ex vivo analysis showed reduced monocytic infiltrates, attenuated levels of inflammatory cytokines under mNOX-E36 monotherapy with an additive effect of low dose Ciclosporin A. There was a significant (p<0.05) negative correlation between ADC and interstitial inflammation (r = -0.73) or macrophage infiltration (r = -0.81) and between organ perfusion and intimal arteritis (r = -0.63).
Conclusion: Multiparametric functional MRI is suited to detect renal allograft rejection in an experimental murine model and allows to characterize effects of immunosuppressive therapy alleviating acute rejection processes in allogeneic transplantation.