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Magn Reson Med. 1993 Jan;29(1):32-7.

Selective MR imaging of labeled human peripheral blood mononuclear cells by liposome mediated incorporation of dextran-magnetite particles.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were incubated with large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) containing encapsulated dextran-magnetite particles (DMP). This resulted in an efficient incorporation of DMP. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of DMP in cells mainly in phagosomes and secondary lysosomes. DMP-labeled PBMCs showed a strong increase of the transverse relaxation rate (up to 16.6 s-1 for 5 x 10(7) cells/ml) and, accordingly, a great loss of signal intensity in MR imaging. The fraction of DMP containing PBMCs could be enriched by magnetic cell separation. The major population of the DMP containing cells proved to be monocytes. When PBMCs depleted of monocytes were used for labeling, DMP uptake was observed also in the peripheral blood lymphocytes. The labeling of PBMCs presented here may be used in future studies of selective MR imaging of in vivo cell migration in a variety of immunologically compromised tissue states, e.g., tumors, transplantations, and abscesses.

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