Brief Article

Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 3-9

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Labeling Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Fluorescent Contrast Agents: the Biological Impact

  • Sophie E. BoddingtonAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco Email author 
  • , Elizabeth J. SuttonAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of California, San FranciscoDepartment of Radiology, Mt. Auburn Hospital
  • , Tobias D. HenningAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of California, San FranciscoDepartment of Radiology, Technical University of Munich
  • , Alexander J. NedopilAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Barbara SenninoAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Anne KimAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Heike E. Daldrup-LinkAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to determine the effect of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) labeling with the fluorescent dye DiD and the iron oxide nanoparticle ferucarbotran on chondrogenesis.

Procedures

hMSCs were labeled with DiD alone or with DiD and ferucarbotran (DiD/ferucarbotran). hMSCs underwent confocal microscopy, optical imaging (OI), and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Chondrogenesis was induced by transforming growth factor-b and confirmed by histopathology and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production. Data of labeled and unlabeled hMSCs were compared with a t test.

Results

Cellular uptake of DiD and ferucarbotran was confirmed with confocal microscopy. DiD labeling caused a significant fluorescence on OI, and ferucarbotran labeling caused a significant T2* effect on MR images. Compared to nonlabeled controls, progenies of labeled MSCs exhibited similar chondrocyte morphology after chondrogenic differentiation, but the labeled cells demonstrated significantly reduced GAG production (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

DiD and DiD/ferucarbotran labeling of hMSC does not interfere with cell viability or morphologic differentiation into chondrocytes, but labeled cells exhibit significantly less GAG production compared to unlabeled cells.

Key words

Optical imaging Magnetic resonance imaging Molecular imaging Cell labeling Mesenchymal stem cell Superparamagnetic iron oxide DiD Differentiation Contrast agent