The effect of transcatheter injections on cell viability and cytokine release of mononuclear cells

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2010 Sep;31(8):1488-92. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A2092. Epub 2010 Apr 15.


Background and purpose: Several studies suggest that various types of cellular therapies enhance recovery after stroke in animal models. IA-based delivery of cells to the brain is under investigation for stroke, but it is unknown whether cells are injured as a result of being injected through a catheter or exposed to iodinated contrast medium or solutions containing heparin.

Materials and methods: We assessed the effect of catheterization with the Excelsior SL-10 catheter or exposure to heparin or iodine contrast on human bone marrow MNCs. Viability and cell injury were assessed by trypan blue exclusion, caspase-3 activity, and lipid peroxidation. Cellular function of MNCs was assessed by their production and release of VEGF, IL-10, and IGF-1.

Results: Flow rates of 10 million cells from 0.5 to 2 mL/min did not alter MNC viability; however, 5 mL/min of MNCs did reduce viability by 19%. Iodine and low-dose heparin exposure did not affect cell viability; however, high-dose heparin was cytotoxic. Catheter delivery at 2 mL/min did not affect levels of VEGF, IL-10, or IGF-1.

Conclusions: MNCs do not appear to be damaged by heparin, iodine contrast, and the Excelsior SL-10 catheter at flow rates up to 2 mL/min. However, higher flow rates did reduce viability, and high-dose heparin did cause cell death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / toxicity
  • Catheterization
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Contrast Media / toxicity*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Heparin / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Iodine Compounds / toxicity*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear* / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear* / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear* / metabolism
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Anticoagulants
  • Contrast Media
  • IL10 protein, human
  • Iodine Compounds
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Interleukin-10
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Heparin