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J Vis Exp. 2013 Mar 20;(73):e50251. doi: 10.3791/50251.

Monitoring dendritic cell migration using 19F / 1H magnetic resonance imaging.

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1
Experimental and Clinical Research Center, A joint cooperation between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine.

Abstract

Continuous advancements in noninvasive imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have greatly improved our ability to study physiological or pathological processes in living organisms. MRI is also proving to be a valuable tool for capturing transplanted cells in vivo. Initial cell labeling strategies for MRI made use of contrast agents that influence the MR relaxation times (T1, T2, T2*) and lead to an enhancement (T1) or depletion (T2*) of signal where labeled cells are present. T2* enhancement agents such as ultrasmall iron oxide agents (USPIO) have been employed to study cell migration and some have also been approved by the FDA for clinical application. A drawback of T2* agents is the difficulty to distinguish the signal extinction created by the labeled cells from other artifacts such as blood clots, micro bleeds or air bubbles. In this article, we describe an emerging technique for tracking cells in vivo that is based on labeling the cells with fluorine ((19)F)-rich particles. These particles are prepared by emulsifying perfluorocarbon (PFC) compounds and then used to label cells, which subsequently can be imaged by (19)F MRI. Important advantages of PFCs for cell tracking in vivo include (i) the absence of carbon-bound (19)F in vivo, which then yields background-free images and complete cell selectivityand(ii) the possibility to quantify the cell signal by (19)F MR spectroscopy.

PMID:
23542739
PMCID:
PMC3639622
DOI:
10.3791/50251
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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