Tracking stem cells in the living myocardium using 19F-MRI - a new paradigm for optimising preclinical studies
Stem-cell therapies have tremendous potential to regenerate the injured myocardium following an ischemic event. Numerous preclinical and clinical trials have demonstrated safety of this approach for multiple cell lineages, but improvements in global function have been modest at best. A key obstacle is how few cells are retained at the site of injury following transplantation and current research has therefore refocused on optimising stem cell delivery, homing and survival. To assess such strategies, we developed 19-Flourine Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a non-invasive, quantitative, tool for stem cell tracking and quantification. FDA-approved non-toxic, biodegradable nanoparticles were used to label stem cells with fluorine, providing high specificity due to the absence of endogenous signal. The CRM pump priming funding allowed us to develop setup and techniques to visualize labelled (stem) cells in the murine myocardium using 19F-MRI.
1. Constantinides C, Maguire ML, Stork L, Swider E, Srinivas M, Carr CA, Schneider JE. Temporal accumulation and localization of isoflurane in the C57BL/6 mouse and assessment of its potential contamination in (19) F MRI with perfluoro-crown-ether-labeled cardiac progenitor cells at 9.4 Tesla. J Magn Reson Imaging 2017;45(6):1659-1667.
2. Constantinides C, Maguire M, McNeill E, Carnicer R, Swider E, Srinivas M, Carr CA, Schneider JE. Fast, quantitative, murine cardiac 19F MRI/MRS of PFCE-labeled progenitor stem cells and macrophages at 9.4T. PLoS One 2018;13(1):e0190558.