Research Article

Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 178-187

First online:

Comparison of Optical Bioluminescence Reporter Gene and Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide MR Contrast Agent as Cell Markers for Noninvasive Imaging of Cardiac Cell Transplantation

  • Ian Y. ChenAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineBio-X Program, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Joan M. GreveAffiliated withDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Olivier GheysensAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineBio-X Program, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Jürgen K. WillmannAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineBio-X Program, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Martin Rodriguez-PorcelAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineBio-X Program, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Pauline ChuAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Ahmad Y. SheikhAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Cardiothoracic, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Anthony Z. FaraneshAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Ramasamy PaulmuruganAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineBio-X Program, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine
    • , Phillip C. YangAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
    • , Joseph C. WuAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
    • , Sanjiv S. GambhirAffiliated withMolecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University School of MedicineBio-X Program, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Radiology, Stanford University School of MedicineDepartment of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Medicine Email author 

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Abstract

Purpose

In this study, we compared firefly luciferase (Fluc) reporter gene and superparamagnetic iron oxide (Feridex) as cell markers for longitudinal monitoring of cardiomyoblast graft survival using optical bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), respectively.

Procedures

Rats (n = 31) underwent an intramyocardial injection of cardiomyoblasts (2 × 106) labeled with Fluc, Feridex, or no marker (control) or an injection of Feridex alone (75 μg). Afterward, rats were serially imaged with BLI or MRI and killed at different time points for histological analysis.

Results

BLI revealed a drastically different cell survival kinetics (half-life = 2.65 days over 6 days) than that revealed by MRI (half-life = 16.8 days over 80 days). Injection of Feridex alone led to prolonged tissue retention of Feridex (≥16 days) and persistent MR signal (≥42 days).

Conclusions

Fluc BLI reporter gene imaging is a more accurate gauge of transplanted cell survival as compared to MRI of Feridex-labeled cells.

Key words

Optical bioluminescence imaging Magnetic resonance imaging Reporter gene Contrast agent Cell marker Cell transplantation