Labeling of luciferase/eGFP-expressing bone marrow-derived stromal cells with fluorescent micron-sized iron oxide particles improves quantitative and qualitative multimodal imaging of cellular grafts **in vivo**
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Molecular imaging and biology. - Place of publication unknown
, p. 1133-1145
University of Antwerp
Purpose Development of multimodal imaging strategies is currently of utmost importance for the validation of preclinical stem cell therapy studies. Procedures We performed a combined labeling strategy for bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSC) based on genetic modification with the reporter genes Luciferase and eGFP (BMSC-Luc/eGFP) and physical labeling with blue fluorescent micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIO) in order to unambiguously identify BMSC localization, survival, and differentiation following engraftment in the central nervous system of mice by in vivo bioluminescence (BLI) and magnetic resonance imaging and postmortem histological analysis. Results Using this combination, a significant increase of in vivo BLI signal was observed for MPIO-labeled BMSC-Luc/eGFP. Moreover, MPIO labeling of BMSC-Luc/eGFP allows for the improved identification of implanted cells within host tissue during histological observation. Conclusions This study describes an optimized labeling strategy for multimodal stem cell imaging resulting in improved quantitative and qualitative detection of cellular grafts.