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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4656539, 10 pages
Research Article

Dynamic Tracking of Injected Mesenchymal Stem Cells after Myocardial Infarction in Rats: A Serial 7T MRI Study

1Department of Radiology, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100037, China
2Department of Ultrasound, Anzhen Hospital, Beijing 100029, China

Received 7 May 2016; Accepted 25 July 2016

Academic Editor: Ping Wang

Copyright © 2016 Xiuyu Chen 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.


Purpose. To track the fate of micron-sized particles of iron oxide (MPIO) labeled mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in vivo in a rat myocardial infarction model using 7T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Materials and Methods. Male MSCs (2 × 106/50 μL) dual-labeled with MPIO and CM-DiI were injected into the infarct periphery 7 days after myocardial infarction (MI). The control group received cell-free media injection. The temporal stem cell location, signal intensity, and cardiac function were dynamically assessed using a 7T MRI at 24 h before transplantation (baseline), 3 days, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks after transplantation, respectively. Results. MR hypointensities caused by MPIOs were observed on T2-weighted images at all time points after MSCs injection. Cine-MRI showed that MSCs moderated progressive left ventricular remodeling. Double staining for iron and CD68 revealed that most of the iron-positive cells were CD68-positive macrophages. Real-time PCR for rat SRY gene showed the number of survival MSCs considerably decreased after transplantation. MSC-treated hearts had significantly increased capillary density in peri-infarct region and lower cardiomyocytes apoptosis and fibrosis formation. Conclusions. Iron particles are not a reliable marker for in vivo tracking the long-term fate of MSCs engraftment. Despite of poor cell retention, MSCs moderate left ventricular remodeling after MI.