Cellular transfer of magnetic nanoparticles via cell microvesicles: impact on cell tracking by magnetic resonance imaging.
ABSTRACT Cell labeling with magnetic nanoparticles can be used to monitor the fate of transplanted cells in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging. However, nanoparticles initially internalized in administered cells might end up in other cells of the host organism. We investigated a mechanism of intercellular cross-transfer of magnetic nanoparticles to different types of recipient cells via cell microvesicles released under cellular stress.
Three cell types (mesenchymal stem cells, endothelial cells and macrophages) were labeled with 8-nm iron oxide nanoparticles. Then cells underwent starvation stress, during which they produced microvesicles that were subsequently transferred to unlabeled recipient cells.
The analysis of the magnetophoretic mobility of donor cells indicated that magnetic load was partially lost under cell stress. Microvesicles shed by stressed cells participated in the release of magnetic label. Moreover, such microvesicles were uptaken by naïve cells, resulting in cellular redistribution of nanoparticles. Iron load of recipient cells allowed their detection by MRI.
Cell microvesicles released under stress may be disseminated throughout the organism, where they can be uptaken by host cells. The transferred cargo may be sufficient to allow MRI detection of these secondarily labeled cells, leading to misinterpretations of the effectiveness of transplanted cells.