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Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 22;8(1):9563. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27879-z.

Temporal window for detection of inflammatory disease using dynamic cell tracking with time-lapse MRI.

Author information

1
Translational Research Imaging Center, Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, 48149, Muenster, Germany.
2
Institute for Immunology, University of Muenster, Roentgenstraße 21, 48149, Muenster, Germany.
3
Institute for Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, University of Muenster, Waldeyerstraße 15, 48149, Muenster, Germany.
4
Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, University of Muenster, Waldeyerstraße 15, 48149, Muenster, Germany.
5
Division of Imaging Sciences & Biomedical Engineering, King's College London, London, UK.
6
Translational Research Imaging Center, Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, 48149, Muenster, Germany. faberc@uni-muenster.de.
7
Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, University of Muenster, Waldeyerstraße 15, 48149, Muenster, Germany. faberc@uni-muenster.de.

Abstract

Time-lapse MRI was implemented for dynamic non-invasive cell tracking of individual slowly moving intravascular immune cells. Repetitive MRI acquisition enabled dynamic observation of iron oxide nanoparticle (ION) labelled cells. Simulations of MRI contrast indicated that only cells moving slower than 1 µm/s were detectable. Time-lapse MRI of the brain was performed after either IONs or ION-labelled monocytes were injected intravenously into naïve and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) bearing mice at a presymptomatic or symptomatic stage. EAE mice showed a reduced number of slow moving, i.e. patrolling cells before and after onset of symptoms as compared to naïve controls. This observation is consistent with the notion of altered cell dynamics, i.e. higher velocities of immune cells rolling along the endothelium in the inflamed condition. Thus, time-lapse MRI enables for assessing immune cell dynamics non-invasively in deep tissue and may serve as a tool for detection or monitoring of an inflammatory response.

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