by Helmar Waiczies, Stefano Lepore, Nicole Janitzek, Ulrike Hagen, Frank Seifert, Bernd Ittermann, Bettina Purfürst, Antonio Pezzutto, Friedemann Paul, Thoralf Niendorf, Sonia Waiczies
The development of cellular tracking by fluorine (19F) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has introduced a number of advantages for following immune cell therapies in vivo. These include improved signal selectivity and a possibility to correlate cells labeled with fluorine-rich particles with conventional anatomic proton (1H) imaging. While the optimization of the cellular labeling method is clearly important, the impact of labeling on cellular dynamics should be kept in mind. We show by 19F MR spectroscopy (MRS) that the efficiency in labeling cells of the murine immune system (dendritic cells) by perfluoro-15-crown-5-ether (PFCE) particles increases with increasing particle size (560>365>245>130 nm). Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells and with respect to impact of PFCE particles on DC function, we observed that markers of maturation for these cells (CD80, CD86) were also significantly elevated following labeling with larger PFCE particles (560 nm). When labeled with these larger particles that also gave an optimal signal in MRS, DC presented whole antigen more robustly to CD8+ T cells than control cells. Our data suggest that increasing particle size is one important feature for optimizing cell labeling by PFCE particles, but may also present possible pitfalls such as alteration of the immunological status of these cells. Therefore depending on the clinical scenario in which the 19F-labeled cellular vaccines will be applied (cancer, autoimmune disease, transplantation), it will be interesting to monitor the fate of these cells in vivo in the relevant preclinical mouse models.