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Original Article
Application of magnetic nanoparticles in vitro MRI of mouse macrophages
SONG Jiang  GE Rui  ZHU Kai  SUN Jie  SONG Meina  ZHAO Wei  MA Hongning  WANG Zhijun 

Cite this article as: Song J, Ge R, Zhu K, et al. Application of magnetic nanoparticles in vitro MRI of mouse macrophages[J]. Chin J Magn Reson Imaging, 2022, 13(2): 57-61. DOI:10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.02.012.

[Abstract] Objective To investigate the optimal concentration of mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 labeled with ultra-micro superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (USPIO) and to compare the sensitivity differences of different scanning sequences in the evaluation of cell phagocytosis in MRI imaging.Materials and Methods The final concentrations of USPIO (0, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 μg/mL) were co-cultured with mouse macrophages for 24 h and then the cell viability was calculated using the cell counting reagent (CCK-8) as well as the half inhibitory concentration (IC50) of USPIO on the cells. The morphological changes of the cells were observed under a light microscope. Prussian blue staining was used to confirm the phagocytic effect of cells on USPIO. 3.0 T MRI scan of the cell-agarose gel model was performed to record the relaxation time and relaxation rate of T1WI and T2WI sequences and calculate the reduction rate of relaxation time.Results When the concentration of USPIO was 25 μg/mL, there was no effect on the cell viability and the difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). When the concentration of USPIO was ≥50 μg/mL, the cell viability was significantly decreased with the increase of USPIO concentration (all P<0.05). The IC50 for the median inhibitory concentration of USPIO on cells was (186.5±7.2) μg/mL. When the concentration of USPIO was 50 μg/mL, the cell morphology began to shrink and the light transmittance decreased. When the concentration of USPIO was 25 μg/mL, the Prussian blue staining was significantly positive. MRI imaging showed significant signal changes in the cells at a concentration of USPIO of 25 μg/mL compared to the control group; With the increase of USPIO concentration, the relaxation times of T1 and T2 were significantly shortened (all P<0.01), and the corresponding relaxation rates R1 and R2 were gradually increased. Under the same concentration of USPIO, the reduction rates of T2 relaxation time in each group were significantly higher than that of T1 relaxation time (all P<0.001).Conclusions USPIO at a concentration of 25 μg/mL has no obvious toxic effect on cells, and it is efficient in labeling, with obvious signal changes on MRI and good imaging effect. It is the optimal concentration for labeling macrophages. MRI can be used for imaging in vitro after cell labeling, and the signal changes of T2WI sequence after detecting the phagocytosis of USPIO by cells are superior to that of T1WI sequence.
[Keywords] macrophages;ultra-micro superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles;magnetic resonance imaging;mouse

SONG Jiang1, 2   GE Rui1   ZHU Kai1   SUN Jie1   SONG Meina1   ZHAO Wei2, 3   MA Hongning2   WANG Zhijun1*  

1 Department of Radiology, General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan 750004, China

2 Central Laboratory of People's Hospital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yinchuan 750004, China

3 Basic Medical College of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan 750004, China

Wang ZJ, E-mail:

Conflicts of interest   None.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS National Natural Science Found of China (No. 81860538, 31860328).
Received  2021-09-09
Accepted  2021-12-28
DOI: 10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.02.012
Cite this article as: Song J, Ge R, Zhu K, et al. Application of magnetic nanoparticles in vitro MRI of mouse macrophages[J]. Chin J Magn Reson Imaging, 2022, 13(2): 57-61. DOI:10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.02.012.

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