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Labelling of leucocytes with technetium-99m exametazime causes in vitro upregulation of granulocyte CD11b without correlation to tissue uptake in vivo

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The aims of this study were to investigate whether labelling with technetium-99m exametazime alters the expression of adhesion molecule CD11b on granulocytes and monocytes, and to study whether the expression of CD11b on unlabelled or labelled cells correlates with uptake of the labelled cells in the inflamed bowel, in the lungs or in the reticuloendothelial system. Leucocytes were obtained from 25 patients with inflammatory bowel disease who underwent leucocyte scan. The cellular expression of CD11b was analysed using flow cytometry. Labelling with99mTc-exametazime induced an increased surface expression of CD11b on granulocytes (P<0.01), but not on monocytes. The increase in CD11b expression on granulocytes was lower than the spontaneous mobilization that occurred at 37° C and correlated neither with this, nor withN-formyl-methionyl-phenylalanine induced expression of the same receptor. Basal expression of CD11b on unlabelled granulocytes, but not on monocytes, correlated with bowel and lung uptake 45 min after reinjection of labelled cells, but not with uptake on later images. No correlation was found between the CD11b expression on labelled granulocytes or monocytes and scintigraphic uptake. Our findings show that labelling with99mTc-exametazime increases the expression of adhesion protein CD11b on granulocytes. The increase in surface expression of CD11b does not correlate with the scintigraphic uptake of labelled cells in the bowel, in the lungs or in the reticuloendothelial system.

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Correspondence to Sven Almer.

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Almer, S., Ljunghusen, O. & Lundahl, J. Labelling of leucocytes with technetium-99m exametazime causes in vitro upregulation of granulocyte CD11b without correlation to tissue uptake in vivo. Eur J Nucl Med 23, 669–674 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00834529

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Key words

  • Adhesion molecules
  • Cell labelling
  • Technetium-99m exametazime
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Leucocytes
  • Flow cytometry