Programmed cell death also called apoptosis plays a pivotal role in many physiological and pathological conditions. In the multi-step process of drug development, a number of medications are being designed to target strategic checkpoints of the apoptotic cascade either to induce or to inhibit programmed cell death. Conceptually, the assessment of programmed cell death in response to various therapeutic interventions appears to be critical for evaluating the efficacy of many drugs that act through apoptotic pathways. In the last decade, nuclear medicine techniques provided proofs of principle for the imaging of apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. The purpose of this article was to review current knowledge on the imaging of apoptosis with radiolabelled annexin A5 in various pre-clinical and clinical models, and beyond that, to assess the potential integration of such a dedicated technology into translational research.
Keywords: Apoptosis, radiolabelled rh-annexin A5, drug development, translational research
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