Imaging acute cardiac cell death: Temporal and spatial distribution of 99mTc-labeled C2A in the area at risk after myocardial ischemia and reperfusion

Xiaoguang Zhu, Zhixin Li, Ming Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The exposure of anionic phospholipids is a near-universal molecular signature for cell death. Based on our prior finding that the 99mTc-labeled C2A domain of synaptotagmin I accumulates intensely in the area at risk, this study quantitatively characterized the temporal and spatial distribution of the radiotracer in a rat model of myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. Methods: Myocardial ischemia and reperfusion were induced by occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery in rats. The temporal uptake of the labeled fusion protein of C2A and glutathione-s-transferase (C2A-GST) in the area at risk was investigated by intravenously injecting the radiotracer at 0, 1, 3, 6, and 24 h after reperfusion, and the radioactivity uptake was quantified by γ-counting of infarcted and ischemic noninfarcted cardiac tissues. Alternatively, the radiotracer was injected at 2 h after reperfusion, and the uptake was measured at 1, 3, 6, and 24 h after injection. In vivo planar imaging was performed on a γ-camera using a parallel-hole collimator. The distribution of radioactivity was qualitatively examined by autoradiography. The relationship between the uptake of the radiotracer in the area at risk and the ischemic duration was examined by γ-counting. Results: Temporally, the radioactivity uptake in the area at risk maximized when the radiotracer was injected before 3 h after reperfusion. Injections at 6 and 24 h after reperfusion resulted in a 30% and 50% reduction in uptake, respectively. However, when the injection was done early (2 h after reperfusion), the tracer was retained in the area at risk with little washout for at least 24 h. Spatially prominent hot-spot uptake was seen in all cases of planar imaging. In autoradiography, the distribution of radioactivity predominantly coregistered with the infarcted regions. This distribution profile was confirmed by direct γ-counting. In addition, the absolute radiotracer uptake in the infarcted and ischemic noninfarcted tissues, in terms of percentage injected dose per gram, was independent of the ischemic duration. Conclusion: 99mTc-C2A-GST has an uptake profile in the area at risk that is appropriate for imaging cardiac cell death in the acute phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1036
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • C2A
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Necrosis
  • Synaptotagmin I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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