RESEARCH ARTICLE


In Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging – A Suitable Method to Track Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in a Skeletal Muscle Trauma§



K. Strohschein*, 1, P Radojewski1, T. Winkler 2, G.N. Duda 1, C Perka2, P von Roth2
1 Julius Wolff Institute and Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Trauma and Reconstruction Surgery, Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany


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© Strohschein et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Julius Wolff Institute and Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies, Charité – Universitätsme-dizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany; Tel: +49-30-450559087; Fax: +49-30-450559969; E-mail: kristin.strohschein@gmail.com
§ The work was performed at the Julius Wolff Institute, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany


Abstract

Cell-based therapies have emerged during the last decade in various clinical fields. Especially mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been used in pre-clinical and clinical applications in cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and musculoskeletal disorders. In order to validate survival and viability as well as possible engraftment of MSCs into the host tissue a live cell imaging technique is needed that allows non-invasive, temporal imaging of cellular kinetics as well as evaluation of cell viability after transplantation. In this study we used luciferase-based bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to investigate the survival of autologous MSCs transplanted into a severely crushed soleus muscle of the rats. Furthermore we compared local as well as intra-arterial (i.a.) administration of cells and analyzed if luciferase transduced MSCs depict the same characteristics in vitro as non-transduced MSCs. We could show that transduction of MSCs does not alter their in vitro characteristics, thus, transduced MSCs display the same differentiation, proliferation and migration capacity as non-transduced cells. Using BLI we could track MSCs transplanted into a crushed soleus muscle until day 7 irrespective of local or i.a. application. Hence, our study proves that luciferase-based BLI is a suitable method for in vivo tracking of MSCs in skeletal muscle trauma in rats.

Keywords: Bioluminescence imaging, cell-based therapy, crush trauma, luciferase, mesenchymal stromal cells, skeletal muscle.