Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

Noninvasive monitoring of hepatic glutathione depletion through fluorescence imaging and blood testing

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Science Advances  19 Feb 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 8, eabd9847
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd9847

Abstract

Hepatic glutathione plays a key role in regulating redox potential of the entire body, and its depletion is known to increase susceptibility to oxidative stress involved in many diseases. However, this crucial pathophysiological event can only be detected noninvasively with high-end instrumentation or invasively with surgical biopsy, limiting both preclinical research and clinical prevention of oxidative stress–related diseases. Here, we report that both in vivo fluorescence imaging and blood testing (the first-line detection in the clinics) can be used for noninvasive and consecutive monitoring of hepatic glutathione depletion at high specificity and accuracy with assistance of a body-clearable nanoprobe, of which emission and surface chemistries are selectively activated and transformed by hepatic glutathione in the liver sinusoids. These findings open a new avenue to designing exogenous blood markers that can carry information of local disease through specific nanobiochemical interactions back to the bloodstream for facile and rapid disease detection.

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