Magnetic resonance imaging of nude mice with heterotransplanted high-grade squamous cell carcinomas: use of a low-loaded, covalently bound Gd-Hsa conjugate as contrast agent with high tumor affinity

Invest Radiol. 2002 Apr;37(4):193-8. doi: 10.1097/00004424-200204000-00004.


Rationale: Malignant tumors often show an increased uptake and metabolism of plasma proteins, especially albumin.

Objectives: Determine whether the accumulation of low loaded Gd-albumin improves visualization of malignant tumors by MRI.

Methods: Twelve nude mice with heterotransplanted squamous cell carcinomas were studied. The signal intensity of tumor, blood, liver, kidney and muscle tissue was studied in MR images after application of Gd-albumin during a period of 144 hours. MRI results were histologically correlated after simultaneously injection of Gd- and fluorescein-labeled albumins in 9 nude mice.

Results: Although liver and kidney had a maximum increase in signal intensity within 30 minutes, tumors showed a delayed 51% increase in the 24 hours after application. Histologic and fluorescence evaluation demonstrated albumin localization in tumors predominantly in stroma and necroses.

Conclusions: Gd-albumin is efficiently accumulated in SCC transplants. MRI with low loaded Gd-albumin may offer relevant opportunities for recognizing tumors sensitive to a therapy with cyostic drug-labeled albumins.

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Fluorescein / pharmacokinetics
  • Gadolinium DTPA / pharmacokinetics*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • Albumins
  • Contrast Media
  • albumin-(gadolinium-DTPA)
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Fluorescein