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MR Tracking of Magnetically Labeled Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rat Kidneys With Acute Renal Failure

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Stem cell transplantation is emerging as a potential treatment option for acute renal failure (ARF) because of its capability to regenerate tissues and organs. To better understand the mechanism of cell therapy, in vivo tracking cellular dynamics of the transplanted stem cells is needed. In the present study, in vivo monitored magnetically labeled mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were transplanted intravascularly into an ARF rat model using a conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. Rat bone marrow MSCs were labeled with home synthesized Fe2O3-PLL, and labeled (n = 6) or unlabeled MSCs (n = 6) were injected into the renal arteries of the rats with ARF induced by the intramuscular injection of glycerol. Using the same technique, labeled MSCs were also injected into the rats assigned to a control group (n = 8). MR images of kidneys were obtained before injection of MSCs as well as immediately, 1, 3, 5, and 8 days afterwards. MR findings were analyzed and compared with histopathological and immunohistochemical results. These results showed that the rat MSCs were successfully labeled with the home synthesized Fe2O3-PLL. In both renal failure and intact rat models, the labeled MSCs demonstrated a loss of signal intensity in the renal cortex on T2*-weighted MR images, which was visible up to 8 days after transplantation. Histological analyses showed that most of the labeled MSCs that tested positive for Prussian blue staining were in glomerular capillaries, corresponding to the areas where a loss in signal intensity was observed in the MRI. A similar signal intensity decrease was not detected in the rats with unlabeled cells. These data demonstrate that the magnetically labeled MSCs in the rat model of ARF were successfully evaluated in vivo by a 1.5 T MRI system, showing that the mechanisms of stem cell therapy have great potential for future ARF treatment recipients.

Keywords: Acute renal failure; Animal model; Cell transplantation; Magnetic resonance imaging; Stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008

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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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