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Open Access Noninvasive In Vivo Tracking of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Evaluation of Cell Therapeutic Effects in a Murine Model Using a Clinical 3.0 T MRI

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Cardiac cell therapy with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represents a promising treatment approach for end-stage heart failure. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms and the fate of the transplanted cells. The objective of the presented work is to determine the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and in vivo monitoring after transplantation into infarcted mouse hearts using a clinical 3.0 T MRI device. The labeling procedure of bone marrow-derived MSCs with micron-sized paramagnetic iron oxide particles (MPIOs) did not affect the viability of the cells and their cell type-defining properties when compared to unlabeled cells. Using a clinical 3.0 T MRI scanner equipped with a dedicated small animal solenoid coil, 105 labeled MSCs could be detected and localized in the mouse hearts for up to 4 weeks after intramyocardial transplantation. Weekly ECG-gated scans using T1-weighted sequences were performed, and left ventricular function was assessed. Histological analysis of hearts confirmed the survival of labeled MSCs in the target area up to 4 weeks after transplantation. In conclusion, in vivo tracking of labeled MSCs using a clinical 3.0 T MRI scanner is feasible. In combination with assessment of heart function, this technology allows the monitoring of the therapeutic efficacy of regenerative therapies in a small animal model.

Keywords: Cardiac function; Cell tracking; Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Myocardial infarction

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-11-05

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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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