Long-Term Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Stem Cells in Neonatal Ischemic Injury

Radiology, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Annals of Neurology (Impact Factor: 9.98). 02/2011; 69(2):282 - 291. DOI: 10.1002/ana.22168
Source: PubMed


Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can serially and noninvasively assess the degree of injury in rat pup models of hypoxic ischemic injury (HII). It can also noninvasively monitor stem cell migration following iron oxide prelabeling. Reports have shown that neural stem cells (NSCs) may help mediate neuroprotection or stimulate neuroreparative responses in adult and neonatal models of ischemic injury. We investigated the ability of high-field MRI to monitor and noninvasively quantify the migration, proliferation, and location of iron oxide–labeled NSCs over very long time periods (58 weeks) in real time while contemporaneously correlating this activity with the evolving severity and extent of neural damage.Methods
Labeled clonal murine NSCs (mNSCs) were implanted 3 days after unilateral HII in 10-day-old rat pups into the contralateral striatum or ventricle. We developed methods for objectively quantifying key aspects of dynamic NSC behavior (eg, viability; extent, and speed of migration; degree of proliferation; extent of integration into host parenchyma). MRI images were validated with histological and immunohistochemical assessments.ResultsmNSCs rapidly migrated (100 μm/day) to the lesion site. Chains of migrating NSCs were observed in the corpus callosum. In pups subjected to HII, though not in intact control animals, we observed a 273% increase in the MR-derived volume of mNSCs 4 weeks after implantation (correlating with the known proliferative behavior of endogenous and exogenous NSCs) that slowly declined over the 58-week time course, with no adverse consequences. Large numbers of now quiescent mNSCs remained at the site of injury, many retaining their iron oxide label.InterpretationOur studies demonstrate that MRI can simultaneously monitor evolving neonatal cerebral injury as well as NSC migration and location. Most importantly, it can noninvasively monitor proliferation dynamically for prolonged time periods. To be able to pursue clinical trials in newborns using stem cell therapies it is axiomatic that safety be insured through the long-term real time monitoring of cell fate and activity, particularly with regard to observing unanticipated risks to the developing brain. This study supports the feasibility of reliably using MRI for this purpose.Ann Neurol 2011

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    • "T2-weighted images (T2WI) were acquired at seven different time-points (1, 4, 7, 10, 17, 24 and 31 days) post induction of HII. This range of time points was chosen based on previous studies that revealed the dynamic nature of the evolving HII injury (Obenaus et al., 2011a). All animal protocols were approved by the Loma Linda University (LLU) Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. "
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the efficacy of three automated brain injury detection methods, namely symmetry-integrated region growing (SIRG), hierarchical region splitting (HRS) and modified watershed segmentation (MWS) in human and animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets for the detection of hypoxic ischemic injuries (HIIs). Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI, 1.5T) data from neonatal arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) patients, as well as T2-weighted imaging (T2WI, 11.7T, 4.7T) at seven different time-points (1, 4, 7, 10, 17, 24 and 31days post HII) in rat-pup model of hypoxic ischemic injury were used to assess the temporal efficacy of our computational approaches. Sensitivity, specificity, and similarity were used as performance metrics based on manual ('gold standard') injury detection to quantify comparisons. When compared to the manual gold standard, automated injury location results from SIRG performed the best in 62% of the data, while 29% for HRS and 9% for MWS. Injury severity detection revealed that SIRG performed the best in 67% cases while 33% for HRS. Prior information is required by HRS and MWS, but not by SIRG. However, SIRG is sensitive to parameter-tuning, while HRS and MWS are not. Among these methods, SIRG performs the best in detecting lesion volumes; HRS is the most robust, while MWS lags behind in both respects.
    Medical Image Analysis 10/2014; 18(7). DOI:10.1016/ · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    • "Billerica, MA), as previously reported (Obenaus et al., 2011). Two scanners were required to image the large number of pups at each time point (10–12 animals). "
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    ABSTRACT: While hypothermia (HT) is the standard-of-care for neonates with hypoxic ischemic injury (HII), the mechanisms underlying its neuroprotective effect are poorly understood. We examined ischemic core/penumbra and cytokine/chemokine evolution in a 10-day-old rat pup model of HII. Pups were treated for 24 hr after HII with HT (32℃; n = 18) or normothermia (NT, 35℃; n = 15). Outcomes included magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neurobehavioral testing, and brain cytokine/chemokine profiling (0, 24, 48, and 72 hr post-HII). Lesion volumes (24 hr) were reduced in HT pups (total 74%, p < .05; penumbra 68%, p < .05; core 85%, p = .19). Lesion volumes rebounded at 72 hr (48 hr post-HT) with no significant differences between NT and HT pups. HT reduced interleukin-1β (IL-1β) at all time points (p < .05); monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) trended toward being decreased in HT pups (p = .09). The stem cell signaling molecule, stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) was not altered by HT. Our data demonstrate that HT reduces total and penumbral lesion volumes (at 24 and 48 hr), potentially by decreasing IL-1β without affecting SDF-1. Disassociation between the increasing trend in HII volumes from 48 to 72 hr post-HII when IL-1β levels remained low suggests that after rewarming, mechanisms unrelated to IL-1β expression are likely to contribute to this delayed increase in injury. Additional studies should be considered to determine what these mechanisms might be and also to explore whether extending the duration or degree of HT might ameliorate this delayed increase in injury. © The Author(s) 2014.
    ASN Neuro 10/2014; 6(6). DOI:10.1177/1759091414558418 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    • "Cheshire image processing software (Hayden Image Processing Group, Waltham, MA) and Amira (Mercury Computer Systems, Visage Imaging, Inc., San Diego, CA) were used for MRI analysis. We have previously reported no volumetric differences between in vivo and ex vivo MRI lesion assessment (Obenaus et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recently we have shown that docosahexaenoic acid complexed to albumin (DHA-Alb) is neuroprotective after experimental stroke in young rats. The purpose of this study was to determine whether treatment with DHA-Alb would be protective in aged rats after focal cerebral ischemia. Isoflurane/nitrous oxide-anesthetized normothermic (brain temperature 36-36.5°C) Sprague-Dawley aged rats (18-months old) received 2h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) by poly-L-lysine-coated intraluminal suture. The neurological status was evaluated during occlusion (60min) and on days 1, 2, 3 and 7 after MCAo; a grading scale of 0-12 was employed. DHA (5mg/kg), Alb (0.63g/kg), DHA-Alb (5mg/kg+0.63g/kg) or saline was administered i.v. 3h after onset of stroke (n=8-10 per group). Ex vivo T2-weighted imaging (T2WI) of the brains was conducted on an 11.7T MRI on day 7 and 3D reconstructions were generated. Infarct volumes and number of GFAP (reactive astrocytes), ED-1 (activated microglia/microphages), NeuN (neurons)-positive cells and SMI-71 (positive vessels) were counted in the cortex and striatum at the level of the central lesion. Physiological variables were entirely comparable between groups. Animals treated with DHA-Alb showed significantly improved neurological scores compared to vehicle rats; 33% improvement on day 1; 39% on day 2; 41% on day 3; and 45% on day 7. Total and cortical lesion volumes computed from T2WI were significantly reduced by DHA-Alb treatment (62 and 69%, respectively). In addition, treatment with DHA-Alb reduced cortical and total brain infarction while promoting cell survival. We conclude that DHA-Alb therapy is highly neuroprotective in aged rats following focal cerebral ischemia and has potential for the effective treatment of ischemic stroke in aged individuals.
    Neurobiology of Disease 09/2013; 62. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2013.09.008 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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