Magnetic resonance imaging of cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) could be a valuable tool for tracking transplanted cells in living organisms. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMMSC) were labeled with a novel polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP)-coated SPIO. Prussian blue staining and electron microscopy revealed that almost all of the cells were efficiently labeled with PVP-SPIO nanoparticles. There were no signs of cytotoxicity, even at concentrations of up to 1600 μ g Fe/ml of the nanoparticles, and the labeled cells were successfully visualized by in vitro cellular MRI. In addition, there was no significant alteration of the phenotype or the adipo/osteo/chondrogenic differentiation potential of the cells. This was in contrast to Feridex IV labeling that led to the inhibition of hBMMSC chondrogenesis. Following intramuscular injection in a rabbit hind limb ischemia model, the intercellular migration of the labeled cells toward the ablated site was clearly tracked through in vivo MRI. The localization of the transplanted cells observed by MRI correlated well with postmortem histological studies. These results demonstrate that the novel PVP-SPIO nanoparticles appear to be efficient MR contrast agents and may enable non-invasive in vivo tracking of stem cells in experimental and clinical settings during cell therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging