, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 702-711
Date: 05 Aug 2010

The Use of Cellular Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Track the Fate of Iron-Labeled Multipotent Stromal Cells after Direct Transplantation in a Mouse Model of Spinal Cord Injury

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study was to track the fate of iron-labeled, multipotent stromal cells (MSC) after their direct transplantation into mice with spinal cord injuries using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Procedures

Mice with spinal cord injuries received a direct transplant of (1) live MSC labeled with micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIO); (2) dead, MPIO-labeled MSC; (3) unlabeled MSC; or (4) free MPIO and were imaged at 3 T for 6 weeks after transplantation.

Results

Live, iron-labeled MSC appeared as a well-defined region of signal loss in the mouse spinal cord at the site of transplant. However, the MR appearance of dead, iron-labeled MSC and free iron particles was similar and persisted for the 6 weeks of the study.

Conclusions

Iron-labeled stem cells can be detected and monitored in vivo after direct transplantation into the injured spinal cord of mice. However, the fate of the iron label is not clear. Our investigation indicates that caution should be taken when interpreting MR images after direct transplantation of iron-labeled cells.

Manuscript Category and Significance: This is an original article reporting on the first study to use in vivo MRI to monitor the fate of stem cells after their direct transplantation into the injured spinal cord in mice. Our investigation indicates that caution should be taken when interpreting MR images after direct transplantation of iron-labeled cells. Cell death and subsequent phagocytosis of iron particles by macrophages may render the MRI signal nonspecific for tracking transplanted cells for long periods of time.