Purpose: For generating preclinical pharmacokinetics (PKs) of compounds, blood is drawn at different time points and levels are quantified by different analytical methods. In order to receive statistically meaningful data, 3 to 5 animals are used for each time point to get serum peak-level and half-life of the compound. Both characteristics are determined by data interpolation, which may influence the accuracy of these values. We provide a method that allows continuous monitoring of blood levels noninvasively by measuring the fluorescence intensity of labeled compounds in the eye and other body regions of anesthetized mice.
Procedures: The method evaluation was performed with four different fluorescent compounds: (i) indocyanine green, a nontargeting dye; (ii) OsteoSense750, a bone targeting agent; (iii) tumor targeting Trastuzumab-Alexa750; and (iv) its F(ab')2-alxea750 fragment. The latter was used for a direct comparison between fluorescence imaging and classical blood analysis using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: We found an excellent correlation between blood levels measured by noninvasive eye imaging with the results generated by classical methods. A strong correlation between eye imaging and ELISA was demonstrated for the F(ab')2 fragment. Whole body imaging revealed a compound accumulation in the expected regions (e.g., liver, bone).
Conclusions: The combination of eye and whole body fluorescence imaging enables the simultaneous measurement of blood PKs and biodistribution of fluorescent-labeled compounds.