Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled cells as an effective vehicle for tracking the GFP gene marker using magnetic resonance imaging

Z. Zhang, N. Mascheri, R. Dharmakumar, Z. Fan, T. Paunesku, G. Woloschak, D. Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Detection of a gene using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is hindered by the magnetic resonance (MR) targeting gene technique. Therefore it may be advantageous to image gene-expressing cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles by MRI. Methods: The GFP-R3230Ac (GFP) cell line was incubated for 24 h using SPIO nanoparticles at a concentration of 20 μg Fe/mL. Cell samples were prepared for iron content analysis and cell function evaluation. The labeled cells were imaged using fluorescent microscopy and MRI. Results: SPIO was used to label GFP cells effectively, with no effects on cell function and GFP expression. Iron-loaded GFP cells were successfully imaged with both fluorescent microscopy and T2*-weighted MRI. Prussian blue staining showed intracellular iron accumulation in the cells. All cells were labeled (100% labeling efficiency). The average iron content per cell was 4.75 ± 0.11 pg Fe/cell (P<0.05 versus control). Discussion: This study demonstrates that the GFP expression of cells is not altered by the SPIO labeling process. SPIO-labeled GFP cells can be visualized by MRI; therefore, GFP, a gene marker, was tracked indirectly with the SPIO-loaded cells using MRI. The technique holds promise for monitoring the temporal and spatial migration of cells with a gene marker and enhancing the understanding of cell- and gene-based therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalCytotherapy
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Keywords

  • GFP-R3230Ac (GFP) cell line
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Optical imaging
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Transplantation

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