Noninvasive imaging procedures will be important for stem cell therapy for muscular dystrophy (MD). Mesoangioblasts regenerate muscle in animal models of muscular dystrophy. In this study, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were used to visualize mesoangioblasts in vivo with MRI. Mesoangioblasts incorporated superparamagnetic iron oxide without transfection reagents, and cell differentiation was not negatively impacted. A custom-built radiofrequency coil with an adjustable field of view and 14.1 T magnet were used for whole-body MRI of mice. High-resolution images of mesoangioblasts in skeletal and cardiac muscle of Mdx mice were obtained following local delivery. Labeled cells were verified by Prussian blue staining and dystrophin expression, indicating that the wild-type mesoangioblasts survived and differentiated in muscle. Iron-labeled cells were detected with MRI in vivo 6 months following intracardiac injection but were determined to be activated macrophages. Iron-labeled cells were not detected by MRI following systemic delivery but were present in skeletal and cardiac muscle, visualized by Prussian blue staining. Systemically delivered mesoangioblasts were detected in lungs by Prussian blue staining and DiI but not by MRI in our study. MRI may be useful for short-term tracking of mesoangioblasts delivered locally but not for long-term monitoring or detection after systemic delivery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging