Molecular Imaging Using Labeled Donor Tissues Reveals Patterns of Engraftment, Rejection, and Survival in Transplantation

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
Transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.83). 08/2005; 80(1):134-9. DOI: 10.1097/01.TP.0000164347.50559.A3
Source: PubMed


Tissue regeneration and transplantation of solid organs involve complex processes that can only be studied in the context of the living organism, and methods of analyzing these processes in vivo are essential for development of effective transplantation and regeneration procedures. We utilized in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to noninvasively visualize engraftment, survival, and rejection of transplanted tissues from a transgenic donor mouse that constitutively expresses luciferase. Dynamic early events of hematopoietic reconstitution were accessible and engraftment from as few as 200 transplanted whole bone marrow (BM) cells resulted in bioluminescent foci in lethally irradiated, syngeneic recipients. The transplantation of autologous pancreatic Langerhans islets and of allogeneic heart revealed the tempo of transplant degeneration or immune rejection over time. This imaging approach is sensitive and reproducible, permits study of the dynamic range of the entire process of transplantation, and will greatly enhance studies across various disciplines involving transplantation.

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    • "Specifically, we ablated the native bone marrow of C57BL/6 mice by total body irradiation and reconstituted them with same-day bone marrow transfer from CAG.luc.eGFP donors, as described previously [21]. One month later, a time-point where full reconstitution of chimeric mice with alien bone marrow had occurred (data not shown and reference [21]), mice were imaged for bioluminescence. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using genetic interventions, we previously determined that C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) promotes malignant pleural effusion (MPE) formation in mice. Here we conducted preclinical studies aimed at assessing the specific therapeutic potential of antibody-mediated CCL2 blockade against MPE. For this, murine MPEs or skin tumors were generated in C57BL/6 mice by intrapleural or subcutaneous delivery of lung (LLC) or colon (MC38) adenocarcinoma cells. Human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549) were used to induce MPEs in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Intraperitoneal antibodies neutralizing mouse CCL2 and/or CCL12, a murine CCL2 ortholog, were administered at 10 or 50 mg/kg every three days. We found that high doses of CCL2/12 neutralizing antibody treatment (50 mg/kg) were required to limit MPE formation by LLC cells. CCL2 and CCL12 blockade were equally potent inhibitors of MPE development by LLC cells. Combined CCL2 and CCL12 neutralization was also effective against MC38-induced MPE and prolonged the survival of mice in both syngeneic models. Mouse-specific CCL2-blockade limited A549-caused xenogeneic MPE, indicating that host-derived CCL2 also contributes to MPE precipitation in mice. The impact of CCL2/12 antagonism was associated with inhibition of immune and vascular MPE-related phenomena, such as inflammation, new blood vessel assembly and plasma extravasation into the pleural space. We conclude that CCL2 and CCL12 blockade are effective against experimental MPE induced by murine and human adenocarcinoma in mice. These results suggest that CCL2-targeted therapies may hold promise for future use against human MPE.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e71207. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071207 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Hematopoietic stem cells, bone marrow mononuclear cells and MSCs were isolated from the L2G85 transgenic mice constitutively expressing both Fluc and eGFP reporter gene. The isolated stem cells were widely used to study their rejection and survival in transplantation [13], engraftment in ischemic myocardium [36,37], and engraftment in tumor-bearing mice [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Transgenic mouse with a stably integrated reporter gene(s) can be a valuable resource for obtaining uniformly labeled stem cells, tissues, and organs for various applications. We have generated a transgenic mouse model that ubiquitously expresses a tri-fusion reporter gene (fluc2-tdTomato-ttk) driven by a constitutive chicken β-actin promoter. This "Tri-Modality Reporter Mouse" system allows one to isolate most cells from this donor mouse and image them for bioluminescent (fluc2), fluorescent (tdTomato), and positron emission tomography (PET) (ttk) modalities. Transgenic colonies with different levels of tri-fusion reporter gene expression showed a linear correlation between all three-reporter proteins (R(2)=0.89 for TdTomato vs Fluc, R(2)=0.94 for Fluc vs TTK, R(2)=0.89 for TdTomato vs TTK) in vitro from tissue lysates and in vivo by optical and PET imaging. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from this transgenics showed high level of reporter gene expression, which linearly correlated with the cell numbers (R(2)=0.99 for bioluminescence imaging (BLI)). Both BLI (R(2)=0.93) and micro-PET (R(2)=0.94) imaging of the subcutaneous implants of Tri-Modality Reporter Mouse derived MSCs in nude mice showed linear correlation with the cell numbers and across different imaging modalities (R(2)=0.97). Serial imaging of MSCs transplanted to mice with acute myocardial infarction (MI) by intramyocardial injection exhibited significantly higher signals in MI heart at days 2, 3, 4, and 7 (p<0.01). MSCs transplanted to the ischemic hindlimb of nude mice showed significantly higher BLI and PET signals in the first 2 weeks that dropped by 4(th) week due to poor cell survival. However, laser Doppler perfusion imaging revealed that blood circulation in the ischemic limb was significantly improved in the MSCs transplantation group compared with the control group. In summary, this mouse can be used as a source of donor cells and organs in various research areas such as stem cell research, tissue engineering research, and organ transplantation.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e73580. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073580 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "This early release of cytokines activates antigen presenting cells (APCs), resulting in the activation and proliferation of allo-reactive T cells (Ferrara et al., 2009). Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is a sensitive tool that enables noninvasive in vivo monitoring of cells and provides important information on the biodistribution, proliferation, and persistence of cells (Cao et al., 2005; Panoskaltsis-Mortari et al., 2004; Weissleder and Pittet, 2008). For this reason, this technique has been used to track immune cells during GVHD, usually under MHC-mismatched conditions. "
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