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Comprehensive Speciation Analysis of Residual Gadolinium in Deep Cerebellar Nuclei in Rats Repeatedly Administered With Gadoterate Meglumine or Gadodiamide

Abstract : Purpose Several preclinical studies have reported the presence of gadolinium (Gd) in different chemical forms in the brain, depending on the class (macrocyclic versus linear) of Gd-based contrast agent (GBCA) administered. The aim of this study was to identify, with a special focus on insoluble species, the speciation of Gd retained in the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) of rats administered repeatedly with gadoterate or gadodiamide 4 months after the last injection. Methods Three groups (N = 6/group) of healthy female Sprague-Dawley rats (SPF/OFA rats; Charles River, L'Arbresle, France) received a cumulated dose of 50 mmol/kg (4 daily intravenous administrations of 2.5 mmol/kg, for 5 weeks, corresponding to 80-fold the usual clinical dose if adjusted for man) of gadoterate meglumine (macrocyclic) or gadodiamide (linear) or isotonic saline for the control group (4 daily intravenous administrations of 5 mL/kg, for 5 weeks). The animals were sacrificed 4 months after the last injection. Deep cerebellar nuclei were dissected and stored at -80°C before sample preparation. To provide enough tissue for sample preparation and further analysis using multiple techniques, DCN from each group of 6 rats were pooled. Gadolinium species were extracted in 2 consecutive steps with water and urea solution. The total Gd concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Soluble Gd species were analyzed by size-exclusion chromatography coupled to ICP-MS. The insoluble Gd species were analyzed by single-particle (SP) ICP-MS, nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), and scanning transmission electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM-EDX) for elemental detection. Results The Gd concentrations in pooled DCN from animals treated with gadoterate or gadodiamide were 0.25 and 24.3 nmol/g, respectively. For gadoterate, the highest amount of Gd was found in the water-soluble fractions. It was present exclusively as low-molecular-weight compounds, most likely as the intact GBCA form. In the case of gadodiamide, the water-soluble fraction of DCN was composed of high-molecular-weight Gd species of approximately 440 kDa and contained only a tiny amount (less than 1%) of intact gadodiamide. Furthermore, the column recovery calculated for this fraction was incomplete, which suggested presence of labile complexes of dissociated Gd3+ with endogenous molecules. The highest amount of Gd was detected in the insoluble residue, which was demonstrated, by SP-ICP-MS, to be a particulate form of Gd. Two imaging techniques (NanoSIMS and STEM-EDX) allowed further characterization of these insoluble Gd species. Amorphous, spheroid structures of approximately 100-200 nm of sea urchin-like shape were detected. Furthermore, Gd was consistently colocalized with calcium, oxygen, and phosphorous, strongly suggesting the presence of structures composed of mixed Gd/Ca phosphates. No or occasional colocalization with iron and sulfur was observed. Conclusion A dedicated analytical workflow produced original data on the speciation of Gd in DCN of rats repeatedly injected with GBCAs. The addition, in comparison with previous studies of Gd speciation in brain, of SP element detection and imaging techniques allowed a comprehensive speciation analysis approach. Whereas for gadoterate the main fraction of retained Gd was present as intact GBCA form in the soluble fractions, for linear gadodiamide, less than 10% of Gd could be solubilized and characterized using size-exclusion chromatography coupled to ICP-MS. The main Gd species detected in the soluble fractions were macromolecules of 440 kDa. One of them was speculated to be a Gd complex with iron-binding protein (ferritin). However, the major fraction of residual Gd was present as insoluble particulate species, very likely composed of mixed Gd/Ca phosphates. This comprehensive Gd speciation study provided important evidence for the dechelation of linear GBCAs and offered a deeper insight into the mechanisms of Gd deposition in the brain.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 9:18:07 AM
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Izabela Strzeminska, Cecile Factor, Javier Jimenez-Lamana, Sabrina Lacomme, Maria Angels Subirana, et al.. Comprehensive Speciation Analysis of Residual Gadolinium in Deep Cerebellar Nuclei in Rats Repeatedly Administered With Gadoterate Meglumine or Gadodiamide. Investigative Radiology, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2022, 57 (5), pp.283-292. ⟨10.1097/RLI.0000000000000846⟩. ⟨hal-03651800⟩



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