Cell labeling with the positive MR contrast agent Gadofluorine M
The purpose of this study was to label human monocytes with Gadofluorine M by simple incubation for subsequent cell depiction at 1.5 and 3 T. Gadofluorine M displays a high r(1) relaxivity and is spontaneously phagocytosed by macrophages. Human monocytes were incubated with Gadofluorine M-Cy at varying concentrations and incubation times and underwent MR imaging at 1.5 and 3 T at increasing time intervals after the labeling procedure. R1-relaxation rates and r1 relaxivities of the labeled cells and non-labeled controls were determined. Cellular contrast agent uptake was examined by fluorescence microscopy and quantified by ICP-AES. Efficient cell labeling was achieved after incubation of the cells with 25 mM Gd Gadofluorine M for 12 h, resulting in a maximal uptake of 0.3 fmol Gd/cell without impairment of cell viability. Fluorescence microscopy confirmed internalization of the fluorescent contrast agent by monocytes. The r1 relaxivity of the labeled cells was 137 mM(-1)s(-1) at 1.5 T and 80.46 mM(-1)s(-1) at 3 T. Imaging studies showed stable labeling for at least 7 days. Human monocytes can be effectively labeled for MR imaging with Gadofluorine M. Potential in vivo cell-tracking applications include targeting of inflammatory processes with Gadofluorine-labeled leukocytes or monitoring of stem cell therapies for the treatment of arthritis.
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