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Noninvasive measurement of gene expression in skeletal muscle

By Glenn Walter, Elisabeth R. Barton and H. Lee Sweeney

Abstract

We have developed a noninvasive detection method for expression of viral-mediated gene transfer. A recombinant adenovirus was constructed by using the gene for arginine kinase (AK), which is the invertebrate correlate to the vertebrate ATP-buffering enzyme, creatine kinase. Gene expression was noninvasively monitored using (31)P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((31)P-MRS). The product of the AK enzyme, phosphoarginine (PArg), served as an MRS-visible reporter of AK expression. The recombinant adenovirus coding for arginine kinase (rAdCMVAK) was injected into the right hindlimbs of neonatal mice. Two weeks after injection of rAdCMVAK, a unique (31)P-MRS resonance was observed. It was observable in all rAdCMVAK injected hindlimbs and was not present in the contralateral control or the vehicle injected limb. PArg and phosphocreatine (PCr) concentrations were calculated to be 11.6 ± 0.90 and 13.6 ± 1.1 mM respectively in rAdCMVAK injected limbs. AK activity was demonstrated in vivo by monitoring the decreases in PArg and ATP resonances during prolonged ischemia. After 1 h of ischemia intracellular pH was 6.73 ± 0.06, PCr/ATP was decreased by 77 ± 8%, whereas PArg/ATP was decreased by 50 ± 15% of basal levels. PArg and PCr returned to basal levels within 5 min of the restoration of blood flow. AK activity persisted for at least 8 mo after injection, indicating that adenoviral-mediated gene transfer can produce stable expression for long periods of time. Therefore, the cDNA encoding AK provides a useful reporter gene that allows noninvasive and repeated monitoring of gene expression after viral mediated gene transfer to muscle

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.97.10.5151
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:25797
Provided by: PubMed Central
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