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Near-Infrared Fluorescence Labeling Allows Noninvasive Tracking of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Transplanted Into Rat Infarct Brain

Sugiyama, Taku MD*; Kuroda, Satoshi MD, PhD*; Osanai, Toshiya MD, PhD*; Shichinohe, Hideo MD, PhD*; Kuge, Yuji PhD‡; Ito, Masaki MD*; Kawabori, Masahito MD*; Iwasaki, Yoshinobu MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318208f891
Research-Animal: Editor's Choice
Press Release

BACKGROUND: Noninvasive imaging techniques would be needed to validate the therapeutic benefits of cell transplantation therapy for central nervous system disorders.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether near-infrared (NIR)-emitting fluorescence tracer, quantum dots, would be useful to noninvasively visualize the bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) transplanted into the infarct brain in living animals.

METHODS: Rat BMSCs were labeled with QD800. In vitro and in vivo conditions to visualize NIR fluorescence were precisely optimized. The QD800-labeled BMSCs were stereotactically transplanted into the ipsilateral striatum of the rats subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion 7 days after the insult. Using the NIR fluorescence imaging technique, the behaviors of BMSCs were serially visualized during the 8 weeks after transplantation.

RESULTS: NIR fluorescence imaging could noninvasively detect the NIR fluorescence emitted from the transplanted BMSCs engrafted in the peri-infarct neocortex through the scalp up to 8 weeks after transplantation. The intensity gradually increased and reached the peak at 4 weeks. The results were supported by the findings on ex vivo NIR fluorescence imaging and histological analysis.

CONCLUSION: NIR fluorescence imaging is valuable in monitoring the behaviors of donor cells in the rodent brain. The results would allow new opportunities to develop noninvasive NIR fluorescence imaging as a modality to track the BMSCs transplanted into the brain.

*Department of Neurosurgery, ‡Tracer Kinetics and Bioanalysis, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan

Received, February 23, 2010.

Accepted, May 31, 2010.

Correspondence: Satoshi Kuroda, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, North 15 West 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan. E-mail:

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons