Molecular MR imaging of myeloperoxidase distinguishes steatosis from steatohepatitis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Benjamin Pulli, Gregory Wojtkiewicz, Yoshiko Iwamoto, Muhammad Ali, Matthias W. Zeller, Lionel Bure, Cuihua Wang, Yuri Choi, Ricard Masia, Alex R. Guimaraes, Kathleen E. Corey, John W. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: To test whether MPO-Gd, an activatable molecular magnetic resonance (MR) imaging agent specific for myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, could detect MPO activity in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) mouse models and human liver biopsy samples. Materials and Methods: In this study, 20 leptin receptor-deficient and three MPO knockout mice were injected with endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) or fed a methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet to induce experimental NASH and underwent MR imaging with MPO-Gd. Saline-injected and control diet-fed leptin receptor-deficient mice were used as respective controls. MPO protein and activity measurements and histologic analyses were performed. Eleven human liver biopsy samples underwent MPO-Gd-enhanced MR imaging ex vivo and subsequent histologic evaluation. Results were compared with Student t test or Mann-Whitney U test. Results: With endotoxin, a significantly increased contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was found compared with sham (mean CNR, 1.81 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 1.53, 2.10] vs 1.02 [95% CI: 0.89, 1.14]; P = .03) at MPO-Gd MR imaging. In the diet-induced NASH model, an increased CNR was also found compared with sham mice (mean CNR, 1.33 [95% CI: 1.27, 1.40] vs 0.98 [95% CI: 0.83, 1.12]; P = .008). Conversely, CNR remained at baseline in NASH mice imaged with gadopentetate dimeglumine and in MPO knockout NASH mice with MPO-Gd, which proves specificity of MPO-Gd. Ex vivo molecular MR imaging of liver biopsy samples from NASH and control patients confirmed results from animal studies (mean CNR for NASH vs control patients, 2.61 [95% CI: 1.48, 3.74] vs 1.29 [95% CI: 1.06, 1.52]; P = .004). Conclusion: MPO-Gd showed elevated MPO activity in NAFLD mouse models and human liver biopsy samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular MR imaging of myeloperoxidase distinguishes steatosis from steatohepatitis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this