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Molecular Imaging Reveals Skeletal Engraftment Sites of Transplanted Bone Marrow Cells

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Molecular imaging holds great promise for the in vivo study of cell therapy. Our hypothesis was that multimodality molecular imaging can identify the initial skeletal engraftment sites post-bone marrow cell transplantation. Utilizing a standard mouse model of bone marrow (BM) transplantation, we introduced a combined bioluminescence (BLI) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging reporter gene into mouse bone marrow cells. Bioluminescence imaging was used for monitoring serially the early in vivo BM cell engraftment/expansion every 24 h. Significant cell engraftment/expansion was noted by greatly increased bioluminescence about 1 week posttransplant. Then PET was applied to acquire three-dimensional images of the whole-body in vivo biodistribution of the transplanted cells. To localize cells in the skeleton, PET was followed by computed tomography (CT). Co-registration of PET and CT mapped the sites of BM engraftment. Multiple, discrete BM cell engraftment sites were observed. Taken together, this multimodality approach may be useful for further in vivo characterization of various therapeutic cell types.

Keywords: Bioluminescence imaging; Computed tomography (CT); Molecular imaging; Positron emission tomography (PET); Skeleton; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: In Vivo Cellular Molecular Imaging Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, RWJMS, UMDNJ, New Brunswick, NJ, USA 2: In Vivo Cellular Molecular Imaging Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA 3: The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, RWJMS, UMDNJ, New Brunswick, NJ, USA 4: Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA 5: Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles 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, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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