31P Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging of Liver Repopulation by Transplanted Hepatocytes
Yamanouchia K, Koretsky A, Landis C, Hetherington H, Guha C
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Hepatocyte transplantation (HT) is being explored as a therapeutic alternative to whole organ transplantation. However, engraftment, survival, proliferation and immune rejection of transplanted hepatocytes are difficult to monitor because of the invasive nature of liver biopsy procedures and spatial heterogeneity of repopulation of the liver by transplanted cells. Ectopic expression of creatine kinase (CK) in liver enables 31P MRS measurements of phosphocreatine (PCr), a metabolite not normally produced in liver. Using donor hepatocytes isolated from transgenic mice that express CK in liver, 31P MRSI was used to evaluate the survival and proliferation of transplanted hepatocytes. A strong, statistically significant, correlation of in vivo 31P MRSI PCr signal and ex vivo determined liver CK expression was observed in mice receiving HT.