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Open Access Monitoring of Liver Cell Transplantation in a Preclinical Swine Model Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Abstract:

Liver cell transplantation (LCT) is a promising treatment approach for certain liver diseases, but clinical implementation requires methods for noninvasive follow-up. Labeling with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles can enable the detection of cells with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We investigated the feasibility of monitoring transplanted liver cells by MRI in a preclinical swine model and used this approach to evaluate different routes for cell application. Liver cells were isolated from landrace piglets and labeled with micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIO) in adhesion. Labeled cells (n = 10), native cells (n = 3), or pure particles (n = 4) were transplanted to minipigs via intraportal infusion into the liver, direct injection into the splenic parenchyma, or intra-arterial infusion to the spleen. Recipients were investigated by repeated 3.0 Tesla MRI and computed tomography angiography up to 8 weeks after transplantation. Labeling with MPIO, which are known to have a strong effect on the magnetic field, enabled noninvasive detection of cell aggregates by MRI. Following intraportal application, which is commonly applied for clinical LCT, MRI was able to visualize the microembolization of transplanted cells in the liver that were not detected by conventional imaging modalities. Cells directly injected into the spleen were retained, whereas cell infusions intra-arterially into the spleen led to translocation and engraftment of transplanted cells in the liver, with significantly fewer microembolisms compared to intraportal application. These findings demonstrate that MRI can be a valuable tool for noninvasive elucidation of cellular processes of LCT and—if clinically applicable MPIO are available—for monitoring of LCT under clinical conditions. Moreover, the results clarify mechanisms relevant for clinical practice of LCT, suggesting that the intra-arterial route to the spleen deserves further evaluation.
More about this publication?
  • The importance of translating original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell therapy and its application to human diseases to society has led to the formation of the journal Cell Medicine. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, the same rigorous peer review will be applied to articles published in Cell Medicine. Articles may deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, and stem cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers may also be featured if they have a translational interest. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Medicine will report on relevant technological advances and their potential for translational medicine. Cell Medicine will be a purely online Open Access journal. There will therefore be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow your work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle you to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of your manuscript.

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