News | July 28, 2008

MRI Tracks Stem Cells in Heart

July 29, 2008 - For several years, doctors have known that certain stem cells migrate to the heart after a heart attack, but exactly how they get there and what purpose they serve remained uncertain.

Now for the first time, researchers have tracked the stem cells in mice using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from their bone marrow origin to the injured site. This opens up the possibility of finding some therapeutic treatment to direct these cells after a heart attack.

Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are found in the bone marrow and can differentiate into certain cell types. They have been detected around heart injuries following a myocardial infarction (heart attack), but whether they come to regenerate heart tissue or to promote healing is still under debate.

Using a series of MRI scans, Tom Hu and colleagues at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA, have tracked MS's in a sample of mice. The researchers first transplanted into the bone marrow a few hundred thousand MSCs that had been labeled with both iron-oxide (a molecule that essentially shades out the MRI signal) and a special protein that fluoresces when exposed to blue light. The team then operated on all of the mice, inducing a heart attack in one group. Over the following days, MRI scans showed a gradual darkening around the site of injury in the heart attack group, which was presumably due to the arrival of the labeled MSCs. The researchers validated this migration with fluorescent microscopy.

The goal now is to devise a way to attach an MRI-sensitive marker to MS's in humans who have suffered a heart attack. This would allow doctors to more closely study these cells, and perhaps devise treatments that can control their migration.

For more information: www.aapm.org

Source: American Association of Physicists in Medicine

Related Content

High Prevalence of Atherosclerosis Found in Lower Risk Patients
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 08, 2018
Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) found a surprisingly high prevalence of atherosclerosis in people...
A cardiac MRI scanner at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center. There is growing concern that gadolinium contrast may cause chronic health problems in some patients.

A cardiac MRI scanner at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center. There is growing concern that gadolinium contrast may cause chronic health problems in some patients.

Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 28, 2018 | Dave Fornell
One of the biggest concerns in radiology in recent years is the safety of gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) us
Contrast-Free Cardiac MRI May Better Assess Need for Mitral Valve Surgery
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 27, 2018
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirms non-invasive cardiac magnetic...
The FDA has cleared the Toshiba Vantage Galan 3.0T XGO Edition MRI from Canon Medical Systems.
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 12, 2018
February 12, 2018 — Physicians now have access to more neuro and cardiac ...
Russian Team Developing New Technology to Significantly Reduce MRI Research Costs
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | January 16, 2018
January 16, 2018 — Researchers from the NUST MISIS Engineering Center for Industrial Technologies in Russia have deve
Videos | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | December 13, 2017
Emanuel Kanal, M.D., director of MRI services and professor of radiology and neuroradiology at the University of Pitt
GE Healthcare Launches Blanket-Like Air Technology MRI Coils
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | December 13, 2017
GE Healthcare announced U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance of its new Air Technology, what it calls an industry-first suite of...
Toshiba Vantage Galan 3T XGO Edition MRI Features New Advanced Gradient
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | December 11, 2017
Toshiba Medical, a Canon Group company, demonstrated the Vantage Galan 3T XGO Edition with the all-new Saturn X...
Toshiba Launches Vantage Elan Zen Edition MR for Enhanced Patient Comfort
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | December 05, 2017
Toshiba Medical, a Canon Group company, introduced its newest magnetic resonance (MR) system, the Vantage Elan/Zen...
Overlay Init