Magnetic resonance imaging of immune cells in inflammation of central nervous system

Istvan Pirko, Bogoljub Ciric, Aaron J. Johnson, Jeff Gamez, Moses Rodriguez, Slobodan Macura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aim. To develop a novel, magnetic resonance-based method for in vivo cell localization in the central nervous system (CNS) of the animals without sacrificing them. Methods. Cells were labeled in vivo by intravenous injection of cell marker-specific antibodies covalently bound to ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (USPIO). This enabled the visualization of specific cell types by magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM). Results. USPIOs covalently attached to antibodies affected the contrast in MRM scan, and their accumulation on cells manifested as signal weakening in T2*-weighted images or signal enhancement in T1-weighted images. With this method applied in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) murine multiple sclerosis (MS) model, CNS-infiltrating CD4+ T cells were easily visualized with cell-specific MRM. Conclusion. MRM with targeted contrast materials can be used to localize CNS-infiltrating lymphocytes of interest. Due to its noninvasive character, this method could potentially be used in human MR imaging as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalCroatian Medical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • CD4-positive T-lymphocytes
  • Contrast media
  • Encephalomyelitis, experimental autoimmune
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Models, animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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