Journal article Open Access

MRI Tracking of Macrophages Labeled with Glucan Particles Entrapping a Water Insoluble Paramagnetic Gd-Based Agent.

Figueiredo, Sara; Cutrin, Juan Carlos; Rizzitelli, Silvia; De Luca, Elisa; Moreira, Juao Nuno; Geraldes, Carlos FGC; Aime, Silvio; Terreno, Enzo

PURPOSE: This study is aimed at demonstrating the in vivo potential of Gd(III)-loaded glucan particles (Gd-GPs) as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-positive agents for labeling and tracking phagocytic cells.

PROCEDURE: GPs were obtained from Saccharomyces cerevisae and loaded with the water-insoluble complex Gd-DOTAMA(C18)2. The uptake kinetics of Gd-GPs by murine macrophages was studied in vitro and the internalization mechanism was assessed by competition assays. The in vivo performance of Gd-GPs was tested at 7.05 T on a mouse model of acute liver inflammation.

RESULTS: The minimum number of Gd-GPs-labeled J774.A1 macrophages detected in vitro by MRI was ca. 300 cells/μl of agar, which is the lowest number ever reported for cells labeled with a positive T1 agent. Intravenous injection of macrophages labeled with Gd-GPs in a mouse model of liver inflammation enabled the MRI visualization of the cellular infiltration in the diseased area.

CONCLUSIONS: Gd-GPs represent a promising platform for tracking macrophages by MRI as a T1 alternative to the golden standard T2-based iron oxide particles.

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