Superparamagnetic iron oxide is suitable to label tendon stem cells and track them in vivo with MR imaging.
ABSTRACT: Tendon stem cells (TSCs) may be used to effectively repair or regenerate injured tendons. However, the fates of TSCs once implanted in vivo remain unclear. This study was aimed to determine the feasibility of labeling TSCs with super-paramagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nano-particles to track TSCs in vivo using MRI. Rabbit TSCs were labeled by incubation with 50 ?g/mL SPIO. Labeling efficiency, cell viability, and proliferation were then measured, and the stemness of TSCs was tested by quantitative real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunocytochemistry. We found that the labeling efficiency of TSCs reached as high as 98%, and that labeling at 50 ?g/mL SPIO concentrations did not alter cell viability and cell proliferation compared to non-labeled control cells. Moreover, the expression levels of stem cell markers (Nucleostemin, Nanog, and Oct-4) did not change in SPIO-labeled TSCs compared to non-labeled cells. Both labeled and non-labeled cells also exhibited similar differentiation potential. Finally, labeled TSCs could be detected by MRI both in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, the findings of this study show that labeling TSCs with SPIO particles is a feasible approach to track TSCs in vivo by MRI, which offers a non-invasive method to monitor repair of injured tendons.
Project description:Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Cellular decay due hypoxia requires rapid and validated methods for possible therapeutic cell transplantation.To develop direct and rapid superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) cell label for a large-animal model and to assess in vivo cell targeting by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in an experimental AMI model.Bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs) were labeled with SPIO particles using two novel direct labeling methods (rotating incubation method and electroporation). Labeling, iron incorporation in cells and label distribution, cellular viability, and proliferation were validated in vitro. An AMI porcine model was used to evaluate the direct labeling method (rotating incubation method) by examining targeting of labeled BMMNCs using MRI and histology.Labeling (1 h) did not alter either cellular differentiation potential or viability of cells in vitro. Cellular relaxation values at 9.4 T correlated with label concentration and MRI at 1.5 T showing 89 ± 4% signal reduction compared with non-labeled cells in vitro. In vivo, a high spatial correlation between MRI and histology was observed. The extent of macroscopic pathological myocardial changes (hemorrhage) correlated with altered function detected on MRI.We demonstrated two novel direct SPIO labeling methods and demonstrated the feasibility of clinical MRI for monitoring targeting of the labeled cells in animal models of AMI.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Articular cartilage has very limited intrinsic regenerative capacity, making cell-based therapy a tempting approach for cartilage repair. Cell tracking can be a major step towards unraveling and improving the repair process of these therapies. We studied superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIO) for labeling human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) regarding effectivity, cell viability, long term metabolic cell activity, chondrogenic differentiation and hBMSC secretion profile. We additionally examined the capacity of synovial cells to endocytose SPIO from dead, labeled cells, together with the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for intra-articular visualization and quantification of SPIO labeled cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINICIPAL FINDINGS: Efficacy and various safety aspects of SPIO cell labeling were determined using appropriate assays. Synovial SPIO re-uptake was investigated in vitro by co-labeling cells with SPIO and green fluorescent protein (GFP). MRI experiments were performed on a clinical 3.0T MRI scanner. Two cell-based cartilage repair techniques were mimicked for evaluating MRI traceability of labeled cells: intra-articular cell injection and cell implantation in cartilage defects. Cells were applied ex vivo or in vitro in an intra-articular environment and immediately scanned. SPIO labeling was effective and did not impair any of the studied safety aspects, including hBMSC secretion profile. SPIO from dead, labeled cells could be taken up by synovial cells. Both injected and implanted SPIO-labeled cells could accurately be visualized by MRI in a clinically relevant sized joint model using clinically applied cell doses. Finally, we quantified the amount of labeled cells seeded in cartilage defects using MR-based relaxometry. CONCLUSIONS: SPIO labeling appears to be safe without influencing cell behavior. SPIO labeled cells can be visualized in an intra-articular environment and quantified when seeded in cartilage defects.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into neural cells to treat nervous system diseases. Magnetic resonance is an ideal means for cell tracking through labeling cells with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO). However, no studies have described the neural differentiation ability of SPIO-labeled MSCs, which is the foundation for cell therapy and cell tracking in vivo. Our results showed that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) labeled in vitro with SPIO can be induced into neural-like cells without affecting the viability and labeling efficiency. The cellular uptake of SPIO was maintained after labeled BM-MSCs differentiated into neural-like cells, which were the basis for transplanted cells that can be dynamically and non-invasively tracked in vivo by MRI. Moreover, the SPIO-labeled induced neural-like cells showed neural cell morphology and expressed related markers such as NSE, MAP-2. Furthermore, whole-cell patch clamp recording demonstrated that these neural-like cells exhibited electrophysiological properties of neurons. More importantly, there was no significant difference in the cellular viability and [Ca(2+)]i between the induced labeled and unlabeled neural-like cells. In this study, we show for the first time that SPIO-labeled MSCs retained their differentiation capacity and could differentiate into neural-like cells with high cell viability and a good cellular state in vitro.
Project description:Cell therapies are a promising approach for the treatment of a variety of human conditions including stress urinary incontinence, but their success greatly depends on the biodistribution, migration, survival, and differentiation of the transplanted cells. Noninvasive in vivo cell tracking therefore presents an important aspect for translation of such a procedure into the clinics. Upon labeling with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles, cells can be tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but possible adverse effect of the labeling have to be considered when labeling stem cells with SPIOs. In this study, human muscle precursor cells (hMPC) were labeled with increasing concentrations of SPIO nanoparticles (100-1600??g/mL) and cell viability and differentiation capacity upon labeling was assessed in vitro. While a linear dependence between cell viability and nanoparticle concentration could be observed, differentiation capacity was not affected by the presence of SPIOs. Using a nude mouse model, a concentration (400??g/mL) could be defined that allows reliable detection of hMPCs by MRI but does not influence myogenic in vivo differentiation to mature and functional muscle tissue. This suggests that such an approach can be safely used in a clinical setting to track muscle regeneration in patients undergoing cell therapy without negative effects on the functionality of the bioengineered muscle.
Project description:MRI for in vivo stem cell tracking remains controversial. Here we tested the hypothesis that MRI can track the long-term fate of the superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles labelled mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) following intramyocardially injection in AMI rats. MSCs (1 × 10(6)) from male rats doubly labeled with SPIO and DAPI were injected 2 weeks after myocardial infarction. The control group received cell-free media injection. In vivo serial MRI was performed at 24 hours before cell delivery (baseline), 3 days, 1, 2, and 4 weeks after cell delivery, respectively. Serial follow-up MRI demonstrated large persistent intramyocardial signal-voids representing SPIO during the follow-up of 4 weeks, and MSCs did not moderate the left ventricular dysfunction. The TUNEL analysis confirmed that MSCs engrafted underwent apoptosis. The histopathological studies revealed that the site of cell injection was infiltrated by inflammatory cells progressively and the iron-positive cells were macrophages identified by CD68 staining, but very few or no DAPI-positive stem cells at 4 weeks after cells transplantation. The presence of engrafted cells was confirmed by real-time PCR, which showed that the amount of Y-chromosome-specific SRY gene was consistent with the results. MRI may not reliably track the long-term fate of SPIO-labeled MSCs engraftment in heart.
Project description:BACKGROUND: For clinical applications of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), labeling and tracking is crucial to evaluate cell distribution and homing. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been successfully established detecting MSCs labeled with superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (SPIO). Despite initial reports that labeling of MSCs with SPIO is safe without affecting the MSC's biology, recent studies report on influences of SPIO-labeling on metabolism and function of MSCs. Exposition of cells and tissues to high magnetic fields is the functional principle of MRI. In this study we established innovative labeling protocols for human MSCs using clinically established SPIO in combination with magnetic fields and investigated on functional effects (migration assays, quantification of colony forming units, analyses of gene and protein expression and analyses on the proliferation capacity, the viability and the differentiation potential) of magnetic fields on unlabeled and labeled human MSCs. To evaluate the imaging properties, quantification of the total iron load per cell (TIL), electron microscopy, and MRI at 3.0 T were performed. RESULTS: Human MSCs labeled with SPIO permanently exposed to magnetic fields arranged and grew according to the magnetic flux lines. Exposure of MSCs to magnetic fields after labeling with SPIO significantly enhanced the TIL compared to SPIO labeled MSCs without exposure to magnetic fields resulting in optimized imaging properties (detection limit: 1,000 MSCs). Concerning the TIL and the imaging properties, immediate exposition to magnetic fields after labeling was superior to exposition after 24 h. On functional level, exposition to magnetic fields inhibited the ability of colony formation of labeled MSCs and led to an enhanced expression of lipoprotein lipase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma in labeled MSCs under adipogenic differentiation, and to a reduced expression of alkaline phosphatase in unlabeled MSCs under osteogenic differentiation as detected by qRT-PCR. Moreover, microarray analyses revealed that exposition of labeled MSCs to magnetic fields led to an up regulation of CD93 mRNA and cadherin 7 mRNA and to a down regulation of Zinc finger FYVE domain mRNA. Exposition of unlabeled MSCs to magnetic fields led to an up regulation of CD93 mRNA, lipocalin 6 mRNA, sialic acid acetylesterase mRNA, and olfactory receptor mRNA and to a down regulation of ubiquilin 1 mRNA. No influence of the exposition to magnetic fields could be observed on the migration capacity, the viability, the proliferation rate and the chondrogenic differentiation capacity of labeled or unlabeled MSCs. CONCLUSIONS: In our study an innovative labeling protocol for tracking MSCs by MRI using SPIO in combination with magnetic fields was established. Both, SPIO and the static magnetic field were identified as independent factors which affect the functional biology of human MSCs. Further in vivo investigations are needed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the interaction of magnetic fields with stem cell biology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tendons are traditionally thought to consist of tenocytes only, the resident cells of tendons; however, a recent study has demonstrated that human and mouse tendons also contain stem cells, referred to as tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSCs). However, the differential properties of TSCs and tenocytes remain largely undefined. This study aims to characterize the properties of these tendon cells derived from rabbits. METHODS:TSCs and tenocytes were isolated from patellar and Achilles tendons of rabbits. The differentiation potential and cell marker expression of the two types of cells were examined using histochemical, immunohistochemical, and qRT-PCR analysis as well as in vivo implantation. In addition, morphology, colony formation, and proliferation of TSCs and tenocytes were also compared. RESULTS:It was found that TSCs were able to differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteocytes in vitro, and form tendon-like, cartilage-like, and bone-like tissues in vivo. In contrast, tenocytes had little such differentiation potential. Moreover, TSCs expressed the stem cell markers Oct-4, SSEA-4, and nucleostemin, whereas tenocytes expressed none of these markers. Morphologically, TSCs possessed smaller cell bodies and larger nuclei than ordinary tenocytes and had cobblestone-like morphology in confluent culture whereas tenocytes were highly elongated. TSCs also proliferated more quickly than tenocytes in culture. Additionally, TSCs from patellar tendons formed more numerous and larger colonies and proliferated more rapidly than TSCs from Achilles tendons. CONCLUSIONS:TSCs exhibit distinct properties compared to tenocytes, including differences in cell marker expression, proliferative and differentiation potential, and cell morphology in culture. Future research should investigate the mechanobiology of TSCs and explore the possibility of using TSCs to more effectively repair or regenerate injured tendons.
Project description:MRI is used for tracking of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-labeled neural stem cells. Studies have shown that long-term MR tracking of rapidly dividing cells underestimates their migration distance. Time-lapse microscopy of random cellular motility and cell division was performed to evaluate the effects of SPIO-labeling on neural stem cell migration. Labeled cells divided symmetrically and exhibited no changes in cell viability, proliferation, or apoptosis. However, SPIO-labeling resulted in decreased motility of neural stem cells as compared with unlabeled controls. When SPIO-labeled neural stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells were transplanted into mouse brain, rapid exocytosis of SPIO by live cells was observed as early as 48 h postengraftment, with SPIO-depleted cells showing the farthest migration distance. As label dilution is negligible at this early time point, we conclude that MRI underestimation of cell migration can also occur as a result of reduced cell motility, which appears to be mitigated following SPIO exocytosis.
Project description:Reliable cell tracking is essential to understand the fate of stem cells following implantation, and thus promote the clinical application of stem cell therapy. Dual or multiple modal imaging modalities mediated by different types of multifunctional contrast agent are generally needed for efficient cell tracking. Here, we created a new contrast agent-PLGA/iron oxide microparticles (PLGA/IO MPs) and characterized the morphology, structure and function of enhancing both photoacoustic (PA) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Both PA and MRI signal increased with increased Fe concentration of PLGA/IO MPs. Fluorescent staining, Prussian blue staining and transmission electron microscope (TEM) certified that PLGA/IO MPs were successfully encapsulated in the labeled TSCs. The established PLGA/IO MPs demonstrated superior ability of dual-modal PA/MRI tracking of TSCs without cytotoxicity at relatively lower Fe concentrations (50, 100 and 200 ?g/mL). The optimal Fe concentration of PLGA/IO MPs was determined to be 100 ?g/mL, thus laying a foundation for the further study of dual-modal PA/MRI tracking of TSCs in vivo and promoting the repair of injured tendon.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles to function as a long-term tracking label for multi-modal imaging of implanted engineered tissues containing muscle-derived progenitor cells using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray micro-computed tomography (?CT). SPIO-labeled primary myoblasts were embedded in fibrin sealant and imaged to obtain intensity data by MRI or radio-opacity information by ?CT. Each imaging modality displayed a detection gradient that matched increasing SPIO concentrations. Labeled cells were then incorporated in fibrin sealant, injected into the atrioventricular groove of rat hearts, and imaged in vivo and ex vivo for up to 1 year. Transplanted cells were identified in intact animals and isolated hearts using both imaging modalities. MRI was better able to detect minuscule amounts of SPIO nanoparticles, while ?CT more precisely identified the location of heavily-labeled cells. Histological analyses confirmed that iron oxide particles were confined to viable, skeletal muscle-derived cells in the implant at the expected location based on MRI and ?CT. These analyses showed no evidence of phagocytosis of labeled cells by macrophages or release of nanoparticles from transplanted cells. In conclusion, we established that SPIO nanoparticles function as a sensitive and specific long-term label for MRI and ?CT, respectively. Our findings will enable investigators interested in regenerative therapies to non-invasively and serially acquire complementary, high-resolution images of transplanted cells for one year using a single label.