Multimodality molecular imaging is a combination of imaging strategies that are playing an increasing role in all biological, biomedical, and clinical fields. Molecular imaging can be used to study a whole variety of molecular events in cells, tissues, organs, and the whole body of living organisms. This includes detecting and measuring the levels of mRNA, proteins, enzymes, and protein-protein interactions. Additionally, molecular imaging can be used to detect intracellular metabolic events, the presence and quantity of specific cells within tissues, and changes in cell characteristics through time. Adding to the power of molecular imaging is the fact that many of these techniques can be applied non-invasively in living subjects, allowing repetitive interrogation of molecular events within intact systems.
Reporter genes are among the most powerful tools in molecular imaging. They were originally introduced several decades ago for studying biochemical events in vitro including cell/tissue lysates. Later, their use advanced to optical imaging of molecular events within intact cultured cells using microscopes. It was in the early 1990s that imaging reporter genes of several types were developed for non-invasive molecular imaging in living subjects. Imaging reporter genes are general tools for imaging gene expression, protein function, protein-protein interactions, and a variety of other molecular events, repetitively and usually non-invasively within living organisms, including humans. Besides their applications in biological research, they have many biomedical applications, including disease diagnosis and optimization of therapeutics.
This is the first book dedicated to teaching all aspects of multimodality molecular imaging of reporter genes.