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Abstract #3136

Genetic Manipulation of Ferritin for Enhanced MRI Contrast

Tatjana Holand1, Panagiotis G. Kyrtatos2, Andrew Lowe2, Anthony N. Price2, Waseem Qasim1, Mark F. Lythgoe2

1Molecular Immunology, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK; 2Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, Institute of Child Health and Department of Medicine, University College London, London, UK

Iron oxide agents have been widely used to track cells in vivo. However, dilution of MRI contrast agent as cells multiply limits the applicability of this method for long-term monitoring of dividing cell populations. We are developing gene delivery strategies that result in the sustained production of endogenous contrast. We have adopted an approach using lentiviral delivery systems, comparing ferritin heavy and light chain, and an enhanced mutant of the ferritin light chain. These vectors are designed for durable gene expression in haematopoietic cell lineages and would be ideal for tumour modelling studies or tracking of cellular therapies in vivo.