Detection of dysplastic intestinal adenomas using a fluorescent folate imaging probe

Wei Tsung Chen, Khashayarsha Khazaie, Guoying Zhang, Ralph Weissleder, Ching Hsuan Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Macrophages have long been recognized as a prominent component of tumors. Activated macrophages overexpress folate receptors and we used this phenomenon to image inflammatory reactions in colon dysplasia using a fluorescent folate probe (FFP). APC Δ468 mice injected with FFP showed fluorescent adenomas (target-to-background ratio, adenoma vs. adjacent normal mucosa, of 2.46 ± 0.41), significantly higher (p < .001) than adenomas in animals injected with a non-folate-containing control probe. Fluorescence-activated cell-sorting analysis revealed a 3-fold higher content of Mac1-positive cells in colonic adenomas compared with normal adjacent mucosa (6.8% vs. 2.2%), and confirmed the source of FFP-positive cells to be primarily an F4/80-positive macrophage subpopulation. Taken together, these results indicate that FFP potentially can be used to image dysplastic intestinal adenomas in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Adenoma
  • Colon cancer
  • Dysplasia
  • Folate receptor
  • Imaging
  • Macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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