Research & Development
Antibody for Imaging
Arteriosclerosis, the main cause of serious cardiovascular diseases such as cerebral infarction and cardiac infarction, which account for approximately 30% of deaths in Japan, progresses without any subjective symptoms. Patients do not become conscious of the disease until they have pain due to significant stenosis of the blood vessels, and at that time, it is too late to cure the disease in many cases. Despite such a situation, no method to obtain definitive early diagnosis of arteriosclerosis with a non-invasive procedure has been established.
In a joint study with Dr. Eiji Matsuura of the National University Corporation Okayama University, MBL has successfully obtained an antibody that can recognize oxidized LDL/β2 glycoprotein I complex. The glycoprotein I complex is regarded as a cause of formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which is one of causes of arteriosclerosis. When this antibody, labeled with fluorescent dye, was administered to a mouse model of arteriosclerosis, fluorescent signals scattered near the heart were detected from outside of the body. Pathological analysis of the points detected as the fluorescent signals revealed that the signals showed atherosclerotic plaques formed in the aortic valve and the aorta, indicating that this antibody can possibly be applied to diagnostic imaging for arteriosclerosis as an antibody probe (diagnostic imaging antibody). MBL is now planning to develop an imaging reagent for in vivo diagnosis using this antibody as a method of definitive early diagnosis for arteriosclerosis, in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.