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Open Access Can Magnetic Targeting of Magnetically Labeled Circulating Cells Optimize Intramyocardial Cell Retention?

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Therapeutic intracavitary stem cell infusion currently suffers from poor myocardial homing. We examined whether cardiac cell retention could be enhanced by magnetic targeting of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) loaded with iron oxide nanoparticles. EPCs were magnetically labeled with citrate-coated iron oxide nanoparticles. Cell proliferation, migration, and CXCR4 chemokine receptor expression were assessed in different labeling conditions and no adverse effects of the magnetic label were observed. The magnetophoretic mobility of labeled EPCs was determined in vitro, with the same magnet as that subsequently used in vivo. Coronary artery occlusion was induced for 30 min in 36 rats (31 survivors), followed by 20 min of reperfusion. The rats were randomized to receive, during brief aortic cross-clamping, direct intraventricular injection of culture medium (n = 7) or magnetically labeled EPCs (n = 24), with (n = 14) or without (n = 10) subcutaneous insertion of a magnet over the chest cavity (n = 14). The hearts were explanted 24 h later and engrafted cells were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart at 1.5 T. Their abundance in the myocardium was also analyzed semiquantitatively by immunofluorescence, and quantitatively by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).Although differences in cell retention between groups failed to be statistically significant using RT-PCR quantification, due to the variability of the animal model, immunostaining showed that the average number of engrafted EPCs was significantly ten times higher with than without magnetic targeting. There was thus a consistent trend favoring the magnet-treated hearts, thereby suggesting magnetic targeting as a potentially new mean of enhancing myocardial homing of intravascularly delivered stem cells. Magnetic targeting has the potential to enhance myocardial retention of intravascularly delivered endothelial progenitor cells.

Keywords: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs); Homing; Magnetic targeting; Myocardial infarction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: INSERM U633, Laboratory of Surgical Research, Paris, France

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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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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