PURPOSE: This study describes a quantitative method to estimate the
migratory capacity of neural stem cells (NSCs) using magnetic resonance
imaging. PROCEDURES: NSCs were labeled with ferumoxides and injected
stereotaxically into the corpus callosum of the normal rat brain.
Control subjects received either free ferumoxides or nonviable labeled
cells. Subjects were scanned after initial injection and at 1 week.
Image sets were coregistered, compared morphologically, and analyzed
parametrically to determine migration speed. RESULTS: Subjects receiving
injections of viable cells had a significantly greater spread of
the tracer after 1 week than either control group (p < 0.05). The
speed of migration for viable NSCs was significantly higher than
that of controls along the corpus callosum (p < 0.05). Migratory
speeds estimated from histology and imaging were significantly correlated.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a quantitative assessment of posttransplantation
neural stem cell migration that is clearly distinguishable from tracer
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