Anna Naumova1, Hans Reinecke2, Kelly Stevens3, Jennifer Deem4, Vasily Yarnykh1, Chun Yuan1, Charles Murry2
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 4Center for Cardiovascular Biology, Seattle, WA, USA
We compared efficacy of MRI detection of live cells engrafted to the infarcted mouse heart after labeling by iron oxide particles or after ferritin overexpression. Presence of cellular grafts appeared as dark areas caused by iron oxide particles and by iron accumulation in ferritin. Dead cells labeled with particles showed similar signal voids as live labeled cells; no signal was detected in dead transgenic cells. Ferritin overexpression can be a valuable tool for noninvasive detection of live cells transplanted into the heart. This is the first use of MR imaging for the detection of gene expression in cardiac grafts.