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Open Access Evaluation of Intracellular Labeling With Micron-Sized Particles of Iron Oxide (MPIOs) as a General Tool for In Vitro and In Vivo Tracking of Human Stem and Progenitor Cells

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based tracking is increasingly attracting attention as a means of better understanding stem cell dynamics in vivo. Intracellular labeling with micrometer-sized particles of iron oxide (MPIOs) provides a practical MRI-based approach due to superior detectability relative to smaller iron oxide particles. However, insufficient information is available about the general utility across cell types and the effects on cell vitality of MPIO labeling of human stem cells. We labeled six human cell types from different sources: mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow (MSCs), mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue (ASCs), presumptive adult neural stem cells (ad-NSCs), fetal neural progenitor cells (f-NPCs), a glioma cell line (U87), and glioblastoma tumor stem cells (GSCs), with two different sizes of MPIOs (0.9 and 2.84 ┬Ám). Labeling and uptake efficiencies were highly variable among cell types. Several parameters of general cell function were tested in vitro. Only minor differences were found between labeled and unlabeled cells with respect to proliferation rate, mitotic duration, random motility, and capacity for differentiation to specific phenotypes. In vivo behavior was tested in chicken embryos and severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Postmortem histology showed that labeled cells survived and could integrate into various tissues. MRI-based tracking over several weeks in the SCID mice showed that labeled GSCs and f-NPCs injected into the brain exhibited translocations similar to those seen for unlabeled cells and as expected from migratory behavior described in previous studies. The results support MPIO-based cell tracking as a generally useful tool for studies of human stem cell dynamics in vivo.

Keywords: Adult stem cells; Cell migration; In vivo tracking; Mesenchymal stem cells; NOD/SCID chimeras; Neural stem cell; Progenitor cells; Stem cell transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-08-01

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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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