Author(s): Oude Engberink RD, Blezer EL, Hoff EI, van der Pol SM, van der Toorn A,
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Abstract Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been applied to visualize monocyte infiltration with the use of intravenously injected ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO). However, USPIO uptake in vivo remains elusive, and the heterogeneous enhancement patterns observed by MRI point to multiple pathophysiological events. This study focused on specific imaging of monocyte infiltration into the brain by transfusion of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-labeled monocytes in a rat model of neuroinflammation, experimentally induced photothrombosis (PT). At day 5 after lesion induction, animals were transfused with SPIO-labeled monocytes (5 x 10(6) cells) or free USPIO (17 mg Fe/kg). MRI was performed 24, 72 and, 120 h later. To investigate temporal changes directly after intravenous USPIO administration, MRI was performed repeatedly up to 8 h. Relaxation measurements showed that rat monocytes were efficiently labeled in vitro using SPIO (R2=12+/-0.9 s(-1)). After transfusion of SPIO-labeled monocytes, a significant increase in contrast enhanced area (340\%+/-106\%) in the PT lesion was observed not before 72 h. Contrast enhancement after USPIO injection increased up to 407\%+/-39\% at a much earlier point of time (24 h) and diminished thereafter. Repetitive MRI directly after USPIO injection showed significant contrast enhancement in the lesion within 2 h. Our study shows that MRI enables in vivo tracking of SPIO-labeled monocytes longitudinally. Moreover, our data suggest that contrast enhancement after injection of free USPIO does not primarily represent signals from peripherally labeled monocytes that migrated toward the inflammatory lesion. The use of SPIO-labeled monocytes provides a better tool to specifically assess the time window of monocyte infiltration.
This article was published in J Cereb Blood Flow Metab
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology