Magnetic resonance imaging of mesenchymal stem cells labeled with dual (MR and fluorescence) agents in rat spinal cord injury.
ABSTRACT In vivo tracking cells using gadolinium-based contrast agents have the important advantage of providing a positive contrast on T1-weighted images, which is less likely to be confused with artifacts because of postoperative local signal voids such as metal, hemorrhage, or air. The aim of this study is to paramagnetically and fluorescently label marrow with dual agents (gadolinium-diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid [Gd-DTPA] and PEI-FluoR) and track them after transplantation into spinal cord injury (SCI) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from Sprague-Dawley rats were incubated with PEI-FluoR (rhodamine-conjugated PEI-FluoR) and Gd-DTPA complex for labeling. After labeling, cellular viability, proliferation, and apoptosis were evaluated. T1 value and longevity of intracellular Gd-DTPA retention were measured on a 1.5 T MRI scanner. Thirty-six SCI rats were implanted with labeled and unlabeled MSCs and phosphate-buffered saline. Then, serial MRI and Basso-Beattie-Bresnehan (BBB) locomotor tests were performed and correlated with fluorescent microscopy. The relative signal intensity (RSL) of the engraftment in relation to normal cord was measured and the linear mixed model followed by post-hoc Bonferroni test was used to identify significant differences in RSL as well as BBB score.
MSCs could be paramagnetically and fluorescently labeled by the dual agents. The labeling did not influence the cellular viability, proliferation, and apoptosis. The longevity of Gd-DTPA retention in labeled MSCs was up to 21 days. The distribution and migration of labeled MSCs in SCI lesions could be tracked until 7 days after implantation on MRI. The relative signal intensities of SCI rats treated with labeled cells at 1 day and 3 days (1.34 +/- 0.02, 1.27 +/- 0.03) were significantly higher than rats treated with unlabeled cells (0.94 +/- 0.01, 0.99 +/- 0.02) and phosphate-buffered saline (0.91 +/- 0.01, 0.95 +/- 0.01) (P < .05). Rats treated with labeled MSCs or unlabeled MSCs achieved significantly higher BBB scores than controls at 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after injury (P < .05).
Labeling MSCs with the dual agents may enable cellular MRI and tracking in experimental spinal cord injury.
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ABSTRACT: Positive T₁ contrast using gadolinium (Gd) contrast agents can potentially improve detection of labeled cells on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Recently, gadolinium oxide (Gd₂O₃) nanoparticles have shown promise as a sensitive T₁ agent for cell labeling at clinical field strengths compared to conventional Gd chelates. The objective of this study was to investigate Gado CELLTrack, a commercially available Gd₂O₃ nanoparticle, for cell labeling and MRI at 7 T. Relaxivity measurements yielded r1 = 4.7 s⁻¹ mM⁻¹ and r₂/r₁ = 6.2. Human aortic endothelial cells were labeled with Gd₂O₃ at various concentrations and underwent MRI from 1 to 7 days postlabeling. The magnetic resonance relaxation times T₁ and T₂ of labeled cell pellets were measured. Cellular contrast agent uptake was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, which showed very high uptake compared to conventional Gd compounds. MRI demonstrated significant positive T₁ contrast and stable labeling on cells. Enhancement was optimal at low Gd concentrations, attained in the 0.02 to 0.1 mM incubation concentration range (corresponding cell uptake was 7.26 to 34.1 pg Gd/cell). Cell viability and proliferation were unaffected at the concentrations tested and up to at least 3 days postlabeling. Gd₂O₃ is a promising sensitive and stable positive contrast agent for cellular MRI at 7 T.Molecular Imaging 04/2012; 11(2):166-75. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of transplanting neutrophin-3 (NT-3)-expressing bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) in a rat model of spinal cord injury (SCI). Forty-eight adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to three groups: the control, BMSC, and NT-3-BMSC groups. BMSCs were infected with NT-3-DsRed or DsRed lentivirus and injected into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) via lumbar puncture (LP) 7 days after SCI in the NT-3-BMSC and BMSC groups, respectively. The hind-limb motor function of all rats was recorded using the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor rating scale on days 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 after transplantation. Haematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining, immunofluorescence labelling, and western blotting were performed at the final time point. Expressions of NT-3, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) proteins increased significantly in the NT-3-BMSC group, and hind-limb locomotor functions improved significantly in the NT-3-BMSC group compared with the other two groups. The cystic cavity area was smallest in the NT-3-BMSC group. In the NT-3-BMSC group, neurofilament 200 (NF200) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression levels around the lesions were significantly increased and decreased, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that transplantation of NT-3 gene-modified BMSCs via LP can strengthen the therapeutic benefits of BMSC transplantation. We observed that these modified cells increased locomotor function recovery, promoted nerve regeneration, and improved the injured spinal cord microenvironment, suggesting that it could be a promising treatment for SCI.Acta Neurochirurgica 04/2014; · 1.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious disease of the center nervous system (CNS). It is a devastating injury with sudden loss of motor, sensory, and autonomic function distal to the level of trauma and produces great personal and societal costs. Currently, there are no remarkable effective therapies for the treatment of SCI. Compared to traditional treatment methods, stem cell transplantation therapy holds potential for repair and functional plasticity after SCI. However, the mechanism of stem cell therapy for SCI remains largely unknown and obscure partly due to the lack of efficient stem cell trafficking methods. Molecular imaging technology including positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical imaging (i.e., bioluminescence imaging (BLI)) gives the hope to complete the knowledge concerning basic stem cell biology survival, migration, differentiation, and integration in real time when transplanted into damaged spinal cord. In this paper, we mainly review the molecular imaging technology in stem cell therapy for SCI.BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:759514.