Assessing antibody pharmacokinetics in mice with in vivo imaging

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2011 May;337(2):350-8. doi: 10.1124/jpet.110.172916. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Recent advances in small-animal molecular imaging instrumentation combined with well characterized antibody-labeling chemistry have enabled detailed in vivo measurements of antibody distribution in mouse models. This article reviews the strengths and limitations of in vivo antibody imaging methods with a focus on positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computed tomography and a brief discussion of the role of optical imaging in this application. A description of the basic principles behind the imaging techniques is provided along with a discussion of radiolabeling methods relevant to antibodies. Practical considerations of study design and execution are presented through a discussion of sensitivity and resolution tradeoffs for these techniques as defined by modality, signaling probe (isotope or fluorophore) selection, labeling method, and radiation dosimetry. Images and analysis results from a case study are presented with a discussion of output data content and relevant informatics gained with this approach to studying antibody pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / metabolism*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Fluorescence
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Luminescence
  • Mice
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Physics
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods


  • Antibodies
  • Radiopharmaceuticals