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Original Research, Animal Studies, Human Studies, Method

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Bimodal Imaging of Mouse Peripheral Nerves with Chlorin Tracers.

Almost 17 million Americans have a history of cancer, a number expected to reach over 22 million by 2030. Cancer patients often undergo chemotherapy in the form of antineoplastic agents such as -platin and paclitaxel. Though effective, these agents can induce debilitating side effects; the most common neurotoxic effect, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), can endure long after treatment ends. Despite the widespread and chronic nature of the dysfunction, no tools exist to quantitatively measure chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Such a tool would not only benefit patients but their stratification could also save significant financial and social costs associated with neuropathic pain. In our first step toward addressing this unmet clinical need, we explored a novel dual approach to localize peripheral nerves: Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) and fluorescence imaging (FI). Our approach revolves around the targeting and imaging of voltage-gated sodium channel subtype Na1.7, highly expressed in peripheral nerves from both harvested human and mouse tissues. For the first time, we show that Hsp1a, a radiolabeled Na1.7-selective peptide isolated from spec. Peru, can serve as a targeted vector for delivering a radioactive sensor to the peripheral nervous system. , we observe high signal-to-noise ratios in the sciatic nerves of animals injected with fluorescently labeled Hsp1a and radiolabeled Hsp1a. Moreover, confocal microscopy on fresh nerve tissue shows the same high ratios of fluorescence, corroborating our results. This study indicates that fluorescently labeled and radiolabeled Hsp1a tracers could be used to identify and demarcate nerves in a clinical setting.

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