Intestinal fibrosis is a common complication of inflammatory bowel disease but remains difficult to detect. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) have key roles in fibrosis and are therefore potential targets for fibrosis detection. We determined whether immunoPET of F(ab′)2 antibody fragments targeting MMPs detects colitis induced colonic fibrosis. Mice were administered 2% dextran sulfate sodium treated water for 1 cycle (inflamed) or 3 cycles (fibrotic), or were untreated (control). Colonic and kidney collagen, innate cytokine, MMPs and fecal MPO concentrations were analyzed by multiplex/ELISA. α-pro-MMP-9 F(ab′)2 fragments were engineered and conjugated to 89Zr for PET imaging, ex-vivo Cherenkov analysis and bio-distribution. Colonic innate cytokine concentrations and fecal myeloperoxidase were increased in inflamed mice but not fibrotic mice, while collagen concentrations were increased in fibrotic mice. MMPs were increased in inflamed mice, but only pro-MMP-9 remained increased in fibrotic mice. 89Zr-pro-MMP-9 F(ab′)2 uptake was increased in the intestine but also in the kidney of fibrotic mice, where collagen and pro-MMP-9 concentrations were increased. 89Zr-pro-MMP-9 F(ab′)2 detects colitis induced intestinal fibrosis and associated kidney fibrosis.
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