Hyodo, Fuminori, Tatsuya Naganuma, Hinako Eto, Masaharu Murata, Hideo Utsumi, and Masayuki Matsuo. “In Vivo Melanoma Imaging Based on Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Enhancement in Melanin Pigment of Living Mice Using in Vivo Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine 134 (April 2019): 99–105.
Melanin is a pigment that includes free radicals and is widely distributed in living animals. Malignant melanoma is one of the most progressive tumors in humans with increasing incidence worldwide, and has shown resistance to chemotherapy, resulting in high mortality at the metastatic stage. In general, melanoma involves the abnormal accumulation of melanin pigment produced by malignant melanocytes. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and imaging is a powerful technique to directly visualize melanomas using endogenous free radicals in the melanin pigment. Because melanin radicals have a large linewidth, the low spatial resolution of EPR imaging results in blurred images and a lack of anatomical information. Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP)-MRI is a noninvasive imaging method to obtain the spatio-temporal information of free radicals with MRI anatomical resolution. Proton signals in tissues, including free radicals, can be dramatically enhanced by EPR irradiation at the resonance frequency of the free radical prior to applying the MRI pulse sequence. However, the DNP eﬀects of free radicals in the pigment of living organisms is unclear. Therefore, if endogenous free radicals in melanin pigment could be utilized as a bio-probe for DNP-MRI, this will be an advantage for the speciﬁc enhancement of melanoma tissues and might allow the separate noninvasive visualization of melanoma tissues without the need for probe administration. Here, we report that biological melanin pigment induced a in vivo DNP eﬀect by interacting with water molecules. In addition, we demonstrated in vivo melanoma imaging based on the DNP eﬀects of endogenous free radicals in the melanin pigment of living mice.