This study investigated the ability of MnCl(2) as a cellular MRI contrast agent to determine the in vitro viability of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC). Basic MRI parameters including T(1) and T(2) values of MnCl(2)-labeled hESC and hBMSC were measured and viability signal of manganese (Mn(2+))-labeled cells was validated. Furthermore, the biological activity of Ca(2+)-channels was modulated utilizing both Ca(2+)-channel agonist and antagonist to evaluate concomitant signal changes. Metabolic effects of MnCl(2)-labeling were also assessed using assays for cell viability, proliferation, and apoptosis. Finally, in vivo Mn(2+)-guided MRI of the transplanted hESC was successfully achieved and validated by bioluminescence imaging.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.