Gastrin-releasing peptide receptor-targeted gadolinium oxide-based multifunctional nanoparticles for dual magnetic resonance/fluorescent molecular imaging of prostate cancer

Bombesin (BBN), an analog of gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), specifically binds to GRP receptors, which are overexpressed in human prostate cancer (PC). Here, we synthesized a BBN-modified gadolinium oxide (Gd2O3) nanoprobe containing fluorescein (Gd2O3-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein [FI]-polyethylene glycol [PEG]-BBN) for targeted magnetic resonance (MR)/optical dual-modality imaging of PC. The Gd2O3-FI-PEG-BBN nanoparticles exhibited a relatively uniform particle size with an average diameter of 52.3 nm and spherical morphology as depicted by transmission electron microscopy. The longitudinal relaxivity (r1) of Gd2O3-FI-PEG-BBN (r1 =4.23 mM(-1)s(-1)) is comparable to that of clinically used Magnevist (Gd-DTPA). Fluorescence microscopy and in vitro cellular MRI demonstrated GRP receptor-specific and enhanced cellular uptake of the Gd2O3-FI-PEG-BBN in PC-3 tumor cells. Moreover, Gd2O3-FI-PEG-BBN showed more remarkable contrast enhancement than the corresponding nontargeted Gd2O3-FI-PEG according to in vivo MRI and fluorescent imaging. Tumor immunohistochemical analysis further demonstrated improved accumulation of the targeted nanoprobe in tumors. BBN-conjugated Gd2O3 may be a promising nanoplatform for simultaneous GRP receptor-targeted molecular cancer diagnosis and antitumor drug delivery in future clinical applications.

International journal of nanomedicine. 2017 Sep 12*** epublish ***

Danting Cui, Xiaodan Lu, Chenggong Yan, Xiang Liu, Meirong Hou, Qi Xia, Yikai Xu, Ruiyuan Liu

Department of Medical Imaging Center, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China., School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.