Molecular Imaging of Smoke-Induced Changes in Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Expression in Murine Tissues Including the Lung

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Abstract

Many inflammatory responses are mediated by activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and a wide variety of human diseases involve abnormal regulation of its expression. In this investigation, we evaluated the effect of smoke inhalation injury on NF-κB expression in lung using two strains of NF-κB reporter mice. Groups of reporter mice with viral thymidine kinase (TK) or “fire fly” luciferase (Luc) genes under control by the NF-κB promoter (TK/NF-κB mice and Luc/NF-κB mice) were subjected to nonlethal smoke inhalation injury. Sham-treated animals served as controls. Twenty-four hours (each animal was injected intravenously with either 9-(4-18F-fluoro-3-[hydroxymethyl]butyl)guanine (18FHBG) (~ 1.0 mCi) or luciferin (1.0 mg). One hour later, the TK/NF-κB mice were studied by micro–positron emission tomography (µ-PET) imaging using a Concord P4 µ-PET camera, and the Luc/NF-κB mice were studied by bioluminescence imaging with a charge-coupled device camera. The µ-PET data demonstrated that smoke injury produced massive increases in NF-κB expression (18FHBG-standardized uptake value: 3.1 vs 0.0) 24 hours after smoke inhalation, which was reduced 48 hours after smoke inhalation, but still significantly different than the control. Qualitative analysis of the bioluminescence data revealed a remarkably similar effect of burn NF-κB luciferase expression in vivo. Biodistribution studies of 18FHBG uptake and luciferase activity in lung tissue demonstrated a similar increase 24 hours after injury, which was reduced 48 hours later, but still significantly higher than the sham. The present data with these models providing longitudinal imaging data on the same mouse may prove useful in the examination of the factors producing lung injury by smoke inhalation, as well as the treatment(s) for the damage produced with and without burn injury.

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