It’s the Metabolism That Makes Macrophages Detectable in the Magnetic Resonance Scanner
Immune Cell Detection by Hyperpolarized 13C Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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- cardiovascular disease
- magnetic resonance imaging
- myocardial infarction
- wound healing
Modulation of the immune response becomes more and more attractive for therapeutic interventions of cardiovascular diseases, aiming to improve healing and prevent remodeling after myocardial infarction or in myocarditis.1,2 However, there are also conflicting and sometimes disappointing results.3,4 Although a huge body of knowledge concerning immunologic pathways and networks is available, translation to the human setup and clinical progress are rather slow. One reason for this discrepancy might be that most of the latter is—roughly speaking—based on in vitro studies, which, for example, led to the concept of distinct classes of proinflammatory and reparative macrophages. However, there is increasing evidence that immune cells as macrophages behave differently in tissue. They are plastic and their polarization into different states strongly depends on the environment, which is determined by the affected organ and type of pathology.5
Article, see p 1084
Hence, it is of paramount importance that immunologic processes and targets should be assessed in their natural surroundings—at best in vivo, which demands the development of appropriate imaging techniques. Such techniques should provide new insights into basic processes and might guide therapeutic interventions in humans.
In their article, Lewis et al6 apply a cutting-edge technology of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging which makes macrophage metabolism visible in vivo, namely 13C …