Near Infrared Imaging of Indocyanine Green Distribution in Pregnant Mice and Effects of Concomitant Medications

Ameer Bishara, Michal Meir, Emma Portnoy, Miri Shmuel, Sara Eyal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The transfer of indocyanine green (ICG) across the placenta is considered to be very low based on measurements in fetal blood. The goal of this study was to evaluate in mice ICGs distribution within fetuses themselves and effects of concomitant medications on fetal exposure. Mid-gestational (day 12.5) and late-gestational (day 17.5) age mice were imaged after administration of ICG (0.167 mg), in the presence and the absence of the organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) inhibitor rifampin (10 mg/kg, n = 11, or 20 mg/kg, n = 1) or the P-glycoprotein inhibitor valspodar (12.5 mg/kg). In vivo ICG emission intensity was followed by ex vivo analysis of blood and tissue emission. Both valspodar and rifampin increased ICGs emission intensity within maternal tissues. In addition, valspodar enhanced the ex vivo signal in mid-pregnancy placentae (2.1-fold; p < 0.01) and fetuses (2.4-fold; p < 0.01), and reduced late-pregnancy placenta:blood and fetus:blood ratios. Rifampin increased placental (1.4-fold, p < 0.05, and 2.3-fold, p < 0.01, in mid- and late-pregnancy, respectively) and fetal (2.2-fold, p < 0.01, and 3.2-fold, p < 0.01, in mid- and late-pregnancy) ICG signal. Similarly to valspodar, late-pregnancy placenta:blood and fetus:blood ratios were reduced by rifampin. Both inhibitors enhanced ICGs emission in fetal leg, liver, and brain. In conclusion, ICG distribution into the mouse fetus can be enhanced when used concomitantly with OATP or P-glycoprotein inhibitors. The greater distribution within individual fetal tissues is likely related to ICGs greater transplacental transfer. Until further data are available on ICGs safety when combined with medications that affect its maternal handling, such combinations should be used with caution.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3351-3357
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • P-glycoprotein
  • indocyanine green
  • molecular imaging
  • near-infrared imaging
  • organic anion transporting polypeptides
  • placenta
  • pregnancy


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