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PLoS One. 2018 Jan 11;13(1):e0190558. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190558. eCollection 2018.

Fast, quantitative, murine cardiac 19F MRI/MRS of PFCE-labeled progenitor stem cells and macrophages at 9.4T.

Author information

1
Departments of Cardiovascular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
2
Department of Tumor Immunology, Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To a) achieve cardiac 19F-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of perfluoro-crown-ether (PFCE) labeled cardiac progenitor stem cells (CPCs) and bone-derived bone marrow macrophages, b) determine label concentration and cellular load limits, and c) achieve spectroscopic and image-based quantification.

METHODS:

Theoretical simulations and experimental comparisons of spoiled-gradient echo (SPGR), rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE), and steady state at free precession (SSFP) pulse sequences, and phantom validations, were conducted using 19F MRI/Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) at 9.4 T. Successful cell labeling was confirmed using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. For CPC and macrophage concentration quantification, in vitro and post-mortem cardiac validations were pursued with the use of the transfection agent FuGENE. Feasibility of fast imaging is demonstrated in murine cardiac acquisitions in vivo, and in post-mortem murine skeletal and cardiac applications.

RESULTS:

SPGR/SSFP proved favorable imaging sequences yielding good signal-to-noise ratio values. Confocal microscopy confirmed heterogeneity of cellular label uptake in CPCs. 19F MRI indicated lack of additional benefits upon label concentrations above 7.5-10 mg/ml/million cells. The minimum detectable CPC load was ~500k (~10k/voxel) in two-dimensional (2D) acquisitions (3-5 min) using the butterfly coil. Additionally, absolute 19F based concentration and intensity estimates (trifluoroacetic-acid solutions, macrophages, and labeled CPCs in vitro and post-CPC injections in the post-mortem state) scaled linearly with fluorine concentrations. Fast, quantitative cardiac 19F-MRI was demonstrated with SPGR/SSFP and MRS acquisitions spanning 3-5 min, using a butterfly coil.

CONCLUSION:

The developed methodologies achieved in vivo cardiac 19F of exogenously injected labeled CPCs for the first time, accelerating imaging to a total acquisition of a few minutes, providing evidence for their potential for possible translational work.

PMID:
29324754
PMCID:
PMC5764257
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0190558
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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