European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 2184–2193 | Cite as

Non-invasive tracking of human haemopoietic CD34+ stem cells in vivo in immunodeficient mice by using magnetic resonance imaging

  • Markus NiemeyerEmail author
  • Robert A. J. Oostendorp
  • Markus Kremer
  • Sandra Hippauf
  • Volker R. Jacobs
  • Hansjörg Baurecht
  • Georg Ludwig
  • Guido Piontek
  • Viktoria Bekker-Ruz
  • Sebastian Timmer
  • Ernst J. Rummeny
  • Marion Kiechle
  • Ambros J. Beer
Molecular Imaging



To assess migration of CD34+ human stem cells to the bone marrow of athymic mice by using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and Resovist, a contrast agent containing superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles.


All animal and human procedures were approved by our institution’s ethics committee, and women had given consent to donate umbilical cord blood (UCB). Balb/c-AnN Foxn1nu/Crl mice received intravenous injection of 1 × 106 (n = 3), 5 × 106 (n = 3) or 1 × 107 (n = 3) human Resovist-labelled CD34+ cells; control mice received Resovist (n = 3). MR imaging was performed before, 2 and 24 h after transplantation. Signal intensities of liver, muscle and bone marrow were measured and analysed by ANOVA and post hoc Student’s t tests. MR imaging data were verified by histological and immunological detection of both human cell surface markers and carboxydextran-coating of the contrast agent.


CD34+ cells were efficiently labelled by Resovist without impairment of functionality. Twenty-four hours after administration of labelled cells, MR imaging revealed a significant signal decline in the bone marrow, and histological and immunological analyses confirmed the presence of transplanted human CD34+ cells.


Intravenously administered Resovist-labelled CD34+ cells home to bone marrow of mice. Homing can be tracked in vivo by using clinical 1.5-T MR imaging technology.


Magnetic resonance imaging Cell tracking Haemopoietic CD34 stem cells Superparamagnetic iron oxide particles Bone marrow homing 



This work was supported by internal clinical funding from the Technische Universität München (KKF 08-04).


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Niemeyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert A. J. Oostendorp
    • 2
  • Markus Kremer
    • 3
  • Sandra Hippauf
    • 2
  • Volker R. Jacobs
    • 1
  • Hansjörg Baurecht
    • 4
  • Georg Ludwig
    • 5
  • Guido Piontek
    • 6
  • Viktoria Bekker-Ruz
    • 2
  • Sebastian Timmer
    • 1
  • Ernst J. Rummeny
    • 5
  • Marion Kiechle
    • 1
  • Ambros J. Beer
    • 5
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Gynaecology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Oncology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Statistics, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Institute for Medical Statistics and EpidemiologyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  5. 5.Department of Radiology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  6. 6.Department of NeuropathologyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  7. 7.Department of Nuclear MedicineTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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