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Open Access In Vivo MRI Stem Cell Tracking Requires Balancing of Detection Limit and Cell Viability

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Cell-based therapy using adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has already been the subject of clinical trials, but for further development and optimization the distribution and integration of the engrafted cells into host tissues have to be monitored. Today, for this purpose magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most suitable technique, and micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIOs) used for labeling are favorable due to their low detection limit. However, constitutional data concerning labeling efficiency, cell viability, and function are lacking. We demonstrate that cell viability and migratory potential of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) are negatively correlated with incorporated MPIOs, presumably due to interference with the actin cytoskeleton. Nevertheless, labeling of BMSCs with low amounts of MPIOs results in maintained cellular function and sufficient contrast for in vivo observation of single cells by MRI in a rat glioma model. Conclusively, though careful titration is indicated, MPIOs are a promising tool for in vivo cell tracking and evaluation of cell-based therapies.

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Keywords: Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs); Cell migration; Electron microscopy; Magnet resonance imaging (MRI); Micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIOs)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anatomy I, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. [email protected]

Publication date: 01 April 2010

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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