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Magnetic Resonance Insights

The Interface Between Iron Metabolism and Gene-Based Iron Contrast for MRI

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Magnetic Resonance Insights 2015:Suppl. 1 9-14

Commentary

Published on 04 Oct 2015

DOI: 10.4137/MRI.S23555


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Abstract

Using a gene-based approach to track cellular and molecular activity with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has many advantages. The strong correlation between transverse relaxation rates and total cellular iron content provides a basis for developing sensitive and quantitative detection of MRI reporter gene expression. In addition to biophysical concepts, general features of mammalian iron regulation add valuable context for interpreting molecular MRI predicated on gene-based iron labeling. With particular reference to the potential of magnetotactic bacterial gene expression as a magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent for mammalian cell tracking, studies in different cell culture models highlight the influence of intrinsic iron regulation on the MRI signal. The interplay between dynamic regulation of mammalian iron metabolism and expression systems designed to sequester iron biominerals for MRI is presented from the perspective of their potential influence on MR image interpretation.



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