Anna Naumova1, Hans Reinecke2,3, Vasily Yarnykh1, Chun Yuan1, Charles Murry2,3
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Center for Cardiovascular Biology, Seattle, WA, USA
We are developing genetically-based technique for molecular imaging of the MRI gene reporter ferritin to enable noninvasive assessment of cell survival and biodistribution after transplantation into infarcted rodent heart. pcDNA3-HAFerr transduction vector encoding ferritin was successfully constructed. Mouse skeletal myoblasts transduced by the vector increased intracellular iron stores, confirmed by Prussian blue staining and yielding a robust detectable effect on T2 and T1 relaxation times in vitro. Ferritin overexpression did not affect cell viability, proliferation and differentiation into multinucleated myotubes. Our pilot studies are encouraging for further in vivo studies of transplanted cells in a beating heart.