Laura Elizabeth Gonzalez-Lara1,2, Xiaoyun Xu3, Klara Hofstetrova1, Anna Pniak3, Arthur Brown3,4, Paula J. Foster1,2
1Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research Institute, London, ON, Canada; 2Department of Medical Biophysics, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada; 3BioTherapeutics Research Group, Robarts Research Institute, London, ON, Canada; 4Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Stem cell labeling with iron particles allows cells to be detected by MRI and is commonly used to track stem cell engraftment. However, a concern, and potential limitation, of tracking iron labeled cells with MRI is that dead cells may be taken up by bystander cells and incorrectly identified as viable. Here we report on a study where iron-labeled stem cells were monitored in vivo for 6 weeks after transplant into the injured mouse spinal cord. Direct transplantation models may represent the worst-case scenarios for cell tracking with MRI.