Migration of iron oxide-labeled human hematopoietic progenitor cells in a mouse model: In vivo monitoring with 1.5-T ME imaging equipment

Heike E. Daldrup-Link, Martina Rudelius, Guido Piontek, Stephan Metz, Rosalinde Bräuer, Gerlinde Debus, Claire Corot, Jürgen Schlegel, Thomas M. Link, Christian Peschel, Ernst J. Rummeny, Robert A.J. Oostendorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of clinical 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging equipment to depict the in vivo distribution of iron oxide-labeled human hematopoietic progenitor cells in athymic mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was approved by the ethical committee, and all women had given consent to donate umbilical cord blood for research. Twenty athymic female Balb/c mice underwent MR imaging before and 1, 4, 24, and 48 hours after intravenous injection of (1-3) × 107 human hematopoietic progenitor cells labeled with the superparamagnetic iron oxide particles ferumoxides through simple incubation (n = 10) or P7228 through lipofection (n = 10). Fifteen female Balb/c control mice were examined after intravenous injection of the pure contrast agents (n = 6 for both probes) or nonlabeled cells (n = 3). Signal intensities of liver, spleen, and bone marrow on MR images obtained before and after injection were measured and compared for significant differences by using the t test. MR imaging data were compared with the results of immunostaining against human CD31+ cells and against the coating of the contrast agents; these results served as the standard of reference. RESULTS: Ferumoxides was internalized into more mature CD34- cells but not into CD34 + stem cells, while P7228 liposomes were internalized into both CD34- and CD34+ cells. After injection of iron oxide-labeled hematopoietic cells, a significant decrease in MR signal intensity was observed in liver and spleen at 1, 4, 24, and 48 hours after injection (P < .05) and in the bone marrow at 24 and 48 hours after injection (P < .05). The signal intensity decrease in bone marrow was significantly stronger after injection of iron oxide-labeled cells compared to controls that received injections of the pure contrast agent (P < .05). Results of histopathologic examination confirmed homing of iron oxide-labeled human progenitor cells in the murine recipient organs. CONCLUSION: The in vivo distribution of intravenously administered iron oxide-labeled hematopoietic progenitor cells can be monitored with 1.5-T MR imaging equipment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


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