PS Patrick, TB Rodrigues, MI Kettunen, SK Lyons, AA Neves, KM Brindle
Magn Reson Med
PURPOSE: To assess the potential of an MRI gene reporter based on the ferritin receptor Timd2 (T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain containing protein 2), using T1- and T2-weighted imaging. METHODS: Pellets of cells that had been modified to express the Timd2 transgene, and incubated with either iron-loaded or manganese-loaded ferritin, were imaged using T1- and T2-weighted MRI. Mice were also implanted subcutaneously with Timd2-expressing cells and the resulting xenograft tissue imaged following intravenous injection of ferritin using T2-weighted imaging. RESULTS: Timd2-expressing cells, but not control cells, showed a large increase in both R2 and R1 in vitro following incubation with iron-loaded and manganese-loaded ferritin, respectively. Expression of Timd2 had no effect on cell viability or proliferation; however, manganese-loaded ferritin, but not iron-loaded ferritin, was toxic to Timd2-expressing cells. Timd2-expressing xenografts in vivo showed much smaller changes in R2 following injection of iron-loaded ferritin than the same cells incubated in vitro with iron-loaded ferritin. CONCLUSION: Timd2 has demonstrated potential as an MRI reporter gene, producing large increases in R2 and R1 with ferritin and manganese-loaded ferritin respectively in vitro, although more modest changes in R2 in vivo. Manganese-loaded apoferritin was not used in vivo due to the toxicity observed in vitro. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance.