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Transplant Proc. 2005 Oct;37(8):3496-8.

Vitality of pancreatic islets labeled for magnetic resonance imaging with iron particles.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pancreatic Islets, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Cell Therapy and Tissue Repair, Videnska 1958/9, 140-21 Prague, Czech Republic.


We previously described an in vivo method for pancreatic islet visualization using magnetic resonance imaging with the aid of superparamagnetic nanoparticles of iron oxide (Resovist) or by magnetic beads precoated with antibodies (Dynabeads). The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro effect of islet labeling on their quality. Isolated rat islets were cultivated for 48 hours with a contrast agent or, in the case of magnetic antibody-coated beads, for only 2 hours. The ability to secrete insulin was tested by a static insulin release assay and the results were expressed as a stimulation index. Staining with propidium iodide and acridine orange was performed to determine the ratio of live to dead cells. Stimulation indices in the Resovist islets (n = 23) vs controls (n = 14) were 15.3 and 15.0, respectively, and in the Dynabeads islets (n = 15) vs controls (n = 12) 21.3 and 19.9, respectively. The vitality of the Resovist islets vs controls determined by live/dead cells ratio was 90.8% and 91.1%, respectively (n = 20), and in the Dynabeads islets vs controls was 89.4% and 91.8%, respectively (n = 11). Islet labeling with the contrast agent as well as with specific antibodies with iron beads did not change the vitality and insulin-secreting capacity assessed in vitro (P > .05). Magnetic resonance using iron nanoparticles represents the only method for in-vivo visualization of transplanted islets so far. Our data represent an important contribution for its clinical use.

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