Detection of nitrosyl-iron complexes by proton-electron-double-resonance imaging

A Mulsch, D J Lurie, I Seimenis, B Fichtlscherer, M A Foster

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The nitrogen monoxide radical (NO.) forms paramagnetic mono- and dinitrosyl-iron complexes in biologic tissues. To establish a noninvasive technique for in vivo NO. imaging, we evaluated the suitability of these complexes as magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents, making use of the ability of the unpaired electrons of the complexes to enter into dynamic nuclear polarization with water protons and hence produce enhancement on images generated by the technique of proton-electron-double-resonance imaging (PEDRI). Phantom solutions of synthetic nitrosyl-iron complexes (NICs) altered the signal intensity of PEDRI images. The dinitrosyl-iron complex (DNIC) with serum albumin induced a significantly larger signal alteration than the mononitrosyl-iron complex (MNIC) with dithiocarbamate. Exposure of rat liver to sodium nitroprusside (SNP) by ex vivo and in situ perfusion induced a composite X-band electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrum of the isolated liver characteristic of a MNIC and DNIC. On storage of the tissue, the MNIC signal disappeared and the DNIC signal intensity increased. Correspondingly, in cross-sectional PEDRI images taken at room temperature, the SNP-exposed livers initially exhibited a weak signal that strongly increased with time. In conclusion, NICs can be detected using PEDRI and could be exploited for in vivo NO. imaging. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-646
Number of pages11
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • nitrogen monoxide
  • nitrosyl-iron complex
  • electron spin resonance
  • proton-electron-double-resonance imaging
  • sodium nitroprusside
  • rat liver
  • free radicals
  • MICE


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