Macromolecular MRI contrast agents with small dendrimers: Pharmacokinetic differences between sizes and cores

Hisataka Kobayashi, Satomi Kawamoto, Sang Kyung Jo, Henry L. Bryant, Martin W. Brechbiel, Robert A. Star

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Citations (Scopus)


Large macromolecular MRI contrast agents with albumin or dendrimer cores are useful for imaging blood vessels. However, their prolonged retention is a major limitation for clinical use. Although smaller dendrimer-based MRI contrast agents are more quickly excreted by the kidneys, they are also able to visualize vascular structures better than Gd-DTPA due to less extravasation. Additionally, unlike Gd-DTPA, they transiently accumulate in renal tubules and thus also can be used to visualize renal structural and functional damage. However, these dendrimer agents are retained in the body for a prolonged time. The purpose of this study was to obtain information from which a macromolecular dendrimer-based MRI contrast agents feasible for use in further clinical studies could be chosen. Six small dendrimer-based MRI contrast agents were synthesized, and their pharmacokinetics, whole-body retention, and dynamic MRI were evaluated in mice to determine an optimal agent in comparison to Gd-[DTPA]-dimeglumine. Diaminobutane (DAB) dendrimer-based agents cleared more rapidly from the body than polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer-based agents with the same numbers of branches. Smaller dendrimer conjugates were more rapidly excreted from the body than the larger dendrimer conjugates. Since PAMAM-G2, DAB-G3, and DAB-G2 dendrimer-based contrast agents showed relatively rapid excretion, these three conjugates might be acceptable for use in further clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Macromolecular MRI contrast agents with small dendrimers: Pharmacokinetic differences between sizes and cores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this