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Invest Radiol. 2015 Oct;50(10):709-18. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000175.

Magnetic resonance imaging of pathogenic protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.

Author information

1
From the *Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Department and Clinic, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf; and †Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this study was to establish a noninvasive tracking of the pathogenic parasite Entamoeba histolytica (Eh) after superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) labeling by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a single-cell level in vitro and in vivo in a mouse model for amebic liver abscess (ALA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Local institutional review committee on animal care approved all animal experiments. Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites were labeled with SPIO nanoparticles (SPIO-Eh). The uptake of SPIO by Eh was optimized using flow cytometry and visualized by bright field, fluorescence, and transmission electron microscopy. The viability of SPIO-Eh was assessed in vitro by determination of growth and ingestion rate of red blood cells. Migration of SPIO-Eh was proven by in vitro MRI in a preclinical 7 T MRI system using continually repeated MRI scans. In vivo distribution of SPIO-Eh within the mouse liver was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by serial respiration-triggered T2*-weighted MRI, T2-weighted MRI, and R2* MR relaxometry up to 5 days after injection and correlated with immunohistology of the liver sections after removal.

RESULTS:

Entamoeba histolytica can be efficiently labeled with SPIO without influence on parasite growth rate or phagocytic capacity. In vitro dynamic MRI allowed real-time migration monitoring and determination of velocity of single SPIO-Eh. In vivo SPIO-Eh showed signal decrease in T2*-weighted and increase of R2* in ALA formations. Motility of SPIO-Eh was necessary to induce ALA formations.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present study demonstrates the feasibility of an efficient magnetic labeling and a noninvasive in vitro and in vivo MR tracking of the pathogenic protozoan Eh in a mouse model for ALA, thus representing in future a noninvasive imaging tool to study parasite, as well as on host-specific pathomechanisms.

PMID:
26135016
DOI:
10.1097/RLI.0000000000000175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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