Molecular imaging of the glomerulus via mesangial cell uptake of radiolabeled tilmanocept

Zhengtao Qin, Carl K. Hoh, Emilia S. Olson, Amin Haghighat Jahromi, David J. Hall, Christopher V. Barback, Young Hyun You, Motoko Yanagita, Kumar Sharma, David R. Vera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An unmet need for the clinical management of chronic kidney disease is a predictive tool of kidney function during the first decade of the disease, when there is silent loss of glomerular function. The objective of this study was to demonstrate receptor-mediated binding of tilmanocept to CD206 within the kidney and provide evidence of kinetic sensitivity of this binding to renal function. Methods: Rats were positioned in a PET scanner with the liver and kidneys within the field of view. After an intravenous injection of 68Ga-IRDye800-tilmanocept, using 1 of 2 scaled molar doses (0.02 nmol/g, n 5 5; or 0.10 nmol/g, n 5 5), or coinjection (n 5 3) of 68Ga-IRDye800-tilmanocept (0.10 nmol/g) and unlabeled tilmanocept (5.0 nmol/g), or a negative control, 68Ga-IRDye800-DTPA-galactosyl-dextran (0.02 nmol/g, n 5 5), each animal was imaged for 20 min followed by a whole-body scan. Frozen kidney sections were stained for podocytes and CD206 using immunofluorescence. Molecular imaging of diabetic db/db mice (4.9 wk, n 5 6; 7.3 wk, n 5 4; 13.3 wk, n 5 6) and nondiabetic db/m mice (n 5 6) was performed with fluorescence-labeled 99mTc-tilmanocept (18.5 MBq, 2.6 nmol). Thirty minutes after injection, blood, liver, kidneys, and urine were assayed for radioactivity. Renal time-activity curves were generated. Results: Rat PET whole-body images and time-activity curves of 68Ga-IRDye800-tilmanocept demonstrated receptor-mediated renal accumulation with evidence of glomerular uptake. Activity within the renal cortex persisted during the 40-min study. Histologic examination demonstrated colocalization of CD206 and IRDye800-tilmanocept within the glomerulus. The glomerular accumulation of the coinjection and the negative control studies were significantly less than the CD206-targeted agent. The db/db mice displayed a multiphasic renal time-activity curve with high urinary bladder accumulation; the nondiabetic mice exhibited renal uptake curves dominated by a single phase with low bladder accumulation. Conclusion: This study demonstrated receptor-mediated binding to the glomerular mesangial cells and kinetic sensitivity of tilmanocept to chronic renal disease. Given the role of mesangial cells during the progression of diabetic nephropathy, PET or SPECT renal imaging with radiolabeled tilmanocept may provide a noninvasive quantitative assessment of glomerular function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1325-1332
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Ga-tilmanocept
  • Kidney imaging
  • Mesangial cells
  • Tc-tilmanocept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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