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R2* and R2 mapping for quantifying recruitment of superparamagnetic iron oxide-tagged endothelial progenitor cells to injured liver: tracking in vitro and in vivo

Authors Wang Q, Li K, Quan Q, Zhang G

Received 26 November 2013

Accepted for publication 15 January 2014

Published 11 April 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1815—1822


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Qingguo Wang, Kangan Li, Qimeng Quan, Guixiang Zhang

Department of Radiology, Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated First People’s Hospital, Hongkou District, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Objective: To evaluate clinical 3.0T magnetic resonance for tracking and quantifying superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)–labeled endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vitro and homing to liver with acute injury in vivo.
Methods: The bone marrow-derived EPCs were isolated and cultured for 4 days and examined in vitro for lineage markers. Then the cultured cells were labeled with a ferumoxides-protamine sulfate complex. Iron uptake was analyzed with an electron microscope and Prussian blue staining. Agarose gel phantoms containing different amounts of EPCs (0–2.5 × 106 cells per milliliter of 1.0% agarose gel) were analyzed with 3.0T R2 and R2* relaxometry. For in vivo tracking, liver injury was induced in healthy C57 mice (female, 6 weeks old, weight 19–20 g) by administration of carbon tetrachloride by single intraperitoneal injection. The R2* and R2 mapping of injured and normal livers of C57 mice were conducted by using 3.0T magnetic resonance on Days 0, 1, 4, and 8 after intravenous SPIO-tagged cells transplantation.
Results: Electron microscope and Perls Prussian blue stain revealed the efficiency of SPIO particles uptake was more than 95% and no structural changes of labeled cells were found compared with control group. R2 and R2* values were linearly correlated with the number of iron-loaded cells in the agarose gel phantoms, and R2* values were significantly greater than R2 (P<0.01). R2* values in all groups were obviously greater than R2 (P<0.01). The R2* values of the injured livers were greater than normal on Days 1 and 4 (P<0.01). No significant difference of R2 values could be found among the three groups.
Conclusion: Quantitative R2* mapping provides a useful method for quantifying intravascular administered SPIO-tagged EPCs homing to injured livers.

Keywords: EPC, magnetic resonance imaging, cell recruitment

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