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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 434878, 11 pages
Research Article

Efficiency of Ferritin as an MRI Reporter Gene in NPC Cells Is Enhanced by Iron Supplementation

1State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Imaging Diagnosis and Interventional Center, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 651 Dongfeng Road East, Guangzhou 510060, China
2Department of Urinary Surgery, Affiliated Xixiang People's Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Shenzhen 518102, China
3Experimental Medical Research Center, Guangzhou Medical College, 195 Dongfeng Road West, Guangzhou 510182, China
4Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
5Department of Anatomy and Histoembrology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

Received 9 November 2011; Accepted 28 December 2011

Academic Editor: Jiing-Kuan Yee

Copyright © 2012 Yupeng Feng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. An emerging MRI reporter, ferritin heavy chain (FTH1), is recently applied to enhance the contrast and increase the sensitivity of MRI in the monitoring of solid tumors. However, FTH1-overexpression-related cytotoxicity is required to be explored. Methods. By using the Tet-Off system, FTH1 overexpression was semi-quantitativiely and dynamicly regulated by doxycycline in a NPC cell line. Effects of FTH1 overexpression on the proliferation, cytotoxicity, apoptosis and migration of NPC cells were investigated in vitro, and MR relaxation rate was measured in vitro and in vivo. Results. In vitro and in vivo overexpression of FTH1 significantly increased the transverse relaxivity ( 𝑅 2 ), which could be enhanced by iron supplementation. In vitro, overexpression of FTH1 reduced cell growth and migration, which were not reduced by iron supplementation. Furthermore, cells were subcutaneously inoculated into the nude mice. Results showed FTH1 overexpression decreased tumor growth in the absence of iron supplementation but not in the presence of iron supplementation. Conclusion. To maximize 𝑅 2 and minimize the potential adverse effects, supplementation of iron at appropriate dose is recommended during the application of FTH1 as a reporter gene in the monitoring of NPC by MRI.