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Open Access Labeling Stem Cells With a Near-Infrared Fluorescent Heptamethine Dye for Noninvasive Optical Tracking

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Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent agents hold great promise for noninvasive in vivo imaging. We have recently reported that a NIR fluorescent heptamethine dye, IR-780 iodide, exhibits unique optical properties for biomedical imaging. On the basis of this foregoing work, we further describe here the potential application of IR-780 iodide as a novel NIR agent for stem cell labeling and tracking. The labeling efficiency, subcellular localization, and the effects on cell viability and differentiation of IR-780 iodide were investigated. The in vivo distribution of stem cells after intravenous transplantation was traced by whole-body animal NIR imaging. Our results showed that IR-780 iodide exhibited superior labeling efficiency and biocompatibility with unique optical properties. Following whole-body NIR imaging, the pulmonary passage of stem cells was noninvasively visualized in rats after systemic transplantation of IR-780 iodide-labeled stem cells through intravenous delivery. With this NIR imaging method, we further confirmed that pretreatment with sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a vasodilator agent, significantly reduced the cell trapping in the lung and increased the cell passage through the lung capillaries. Our study suggests that IR-780 iodide may represent an effective NIR fluorophore for stem cell labeling and tracking.
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Keywords: Heptamethine dye; IR-780 iodide; Near-infrared (NIR) imaging; Stem cells

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2011

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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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