The effectiveness of ferritin as a contrast agent for cell tracking MRI in mouse cancer models

Chan Wha Lee, Sun Il Choi, Sang Jin Lee, Young Taek Oh, Gunwoo Park, Na Yeon Park, Kyoung Ah Yoon, Sunshin Kim, Daehong Kim, Yun Hee Kim, Jin Suck Suh

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Abstract

Purpose: We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of ferritin as a contrast agent and a potential reporter gene for tracking tumor cells or macrophages in mouse cancer models. Materials and Methods: Adenoviral human ferritin heavy chain (Ad-hFTH) was administrated to orthotopic glioma models and subcutaneous colon cancer mouse models using U87MG and HCT116 cells, respectively. Brain MR images were acquired before and daily for up to 6 days after the intracranial injection of Ad-hFTH. In the HCT116 tumor model, MR examinations were performed before and at 6, 24, and 48 h after intratumoral injection of Ad-hFTH, as well as before and every two days after intravenous injection of ferritin-labeled macrophages. The contrast effect of ferritin in vitro was measured by MR imaging of cell pellets. MRI examinations using a 7T MR scanner comprised a T1-weighted (T1w) spin-echo sequence, T2-weighted (T2w) relaxation enhancement sequence, and T2*-weighted (T2*w) fast low angle shot sequence. Results: Cell pellet imaging of Ad-hFTH in vitro showed a strong negatively enhanced contrast in T2w and T2*w images, presenting with darker signal intensity in high concentrations of Fe. T2w images of glioma and subcutaneous HCT116 tumor models showed a dark signal intensity around or within the Ad-hFTH tumor, which was distinct with time and apparent in T2*w images. After injection of ferritin-labeled macrophages, negative contrast enhancement was identified within the tumor. Conclusion: Ferritin could be a good candidate as an endogenous MR contrast agent and a potential reporter gene that is capable of maintaining cell labeling stability and cellular safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalYonsei medical journal
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Lee, C. W., Choi, S. I., Lee, S. J., Oh, Y. T., Park, G., Park, N. Y., Yoon, K. A., Kim, S., Kim, D., Kim, Y. H., & Suh, J. S. (2017). The effectiveness of ferritin as a contrast agent for cell tracking MRI in mouse cancer models. Yonsei medical journal, 58(1), 51-58. https://doi.org/10.3349/ymj.2017.58.1.51