Anna Naumova1,2, Vasily Yarnykh1,2, Hans Reinecke2,3, Charles Murry2,3, Chun Yuan1,2
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Center for Cardiovascular Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
This study showed possibility of non-invasive visualization and quantification of transgenic C2C12 grafts overexpressing MRI gene reporter ferritin in the infarcted mouse heart. T2*-weighted gradient echo sequence was most sensitive for imaging of ferritin-tagged grafts capturing about 30% change in MRI signal intensity. Unlabeled wild-type C2C12 cells transplanted to the mouse heart did not change MRI signal intensity in T2*-weighted images. The important advantage of this approach is that the gene reporter divides with each round of cell division retaining a desired MRI contrast over the entire volume of growing grafts.