Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 679–694 | Cite as

In Vivo Cellular MRI of Dendritic Cell Migration Using Micrometer-Sized Iron Oxide (MPIO) Particles

  • Roja Rohani
  • Sonali N. de Chickera
  • Christy Willert
  • Yuhua Chen
  • Gregory A. Dekaban
  • Paula J. Foster
Research Article



This study seeks to assess the use of labeling with micron-sized iron oxide (MPIO) particles for the detection and quantification of the migration of dendritic cells (DCs) using cellular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


DCs were labeled with red fluorescent MPIO particles for detection by cellular MRI and a green fluorescent membrane dye (PKH67) for histological detection. MPIO-labeled DCs or unlabeled control DCs were injected into mice footpads at two doses (0.1 × 106 and 1 × 106). Images were acquired at 3 Tesla before DC injection and 2, 3, and 7 days post-DC injection.


Labeling DCs with MPIO particles did not affect viability, but it did alter markers of DC activation and maturation. MRI and fluorescence microscopy allowed for the detection of MPIO-labeled DCs within the draining popliteal nodes after their injection into the footpad.


This paper presents the first report of the successful use of fluorescent MPIO particles to label and track DC migration.

Key words

MRI Dendritic cells Cancer Immunotherapy Iron oxide Contrast agent MPIO 



This research was supported by grants from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research. Sonali de Chickera was supported by the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Award (CIHR) and the Translational Breast Cancer Research Trainee Studentship (London Health Sciences Centre). We would like to thank Dr. Renata Raina for her technical assistance with the ICP-MS analysis. Her work was carried out at the Trace Analysis Facility at the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, which was supported by a Canadian Foundation for Innovation. We would also like to thank Mia Merrill for her assistance in making some figures for this manuscript. We also acknowledge Drs. Brian Rutt and Andrew Alejski for the design and construction of the MR hardware.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Molecular Imaging and Society for Molecular Imaging 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roja Rohani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sonali N. de Chickera
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christy Willert
    • 4
  • Yuhua Chen
    • 2
  • Gregory A. Dekaban
    • 4
    • 5
  • Paula J. Foster
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical BiophysicsUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research InstituteUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  4. 4.BioTherapeutics Research Laboratories, Robarts Research InstituteUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  5. 5.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Robarts Research InstituteUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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