Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 286–295 | Cite as

Transfection of Neuroprogenitor Cells with Iron Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tracking: Cell Viability, Differentiation, and Intracellular Localization

  • Sosuke Miyoshi
  • Jennifer A. Flexman
  • Donna J. Cross
  • Kenneth R. Maravilla
  • Yongmin Kim
  • Yoshimi Anzai
  • Junko Oshima
  • Satoshi Minoshima
Original Article



Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can track labeled cells in the brain. The use of hemagglutinating virus of Japan envelopes (HVJ-Es) to effectively introduce the contrast agent to neural progenitor cells (NPCs) is limited to date despite their high NPC affinity.


HVJ-Es and Lipofectamine 2000 were compared as transfection vehicles of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO). Labeled NPCs were examined for iron content, MRI signal change, and fundamental cell characteristics. Prussian Blue staining was used after differentiation to determine SPIO localization.


HVJ-Es transfected up to 12.5 ± 8.8 times more SPIO into NPCs. HVJ-Es do not affect cell viability or differentiation capability. Superparamagnetic iron oxide was disseminated in both the soma and neurites.


These findings indicate that HVJ-Es are an effective vehicle for SPIO transfection of NPCs. The intracellular localization after differentiation raises the question as to the capability of MRI to distinguish cell migration from axonal or dendritic growth in vivo.


Cell transplantation Pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) Neuronal regeneration Magnetic resonance imaging Superparamagnetic iron oxide Cell tracking 



This work was supported by NIH/NCRR P51 RR000166 and in part by funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The authors would like to thank Berlex Laboratories (Wayne, NJ) for their donation of Feridex IV and Raja Atallah from the Environmental Health Laboratory for his help with the atomic absorption spectrophotometry.


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Copyright information

© Association for Research in Otolaryngology 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sosuke Miyoshi
    • 1
  • Jennifer A. Flexman
    • 1
  • Donna J. Cross
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kenneth R. Maravilla
    • 4
  • Yongmin Kim
    • 1
    • 4
  • Yoshimi Anzai
    • 4
  • Junko Oshima
    • 5
  • Satoshi Minoshima
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Washington National Primate Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Neuroscience Graduate ProgramUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of PathologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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