MRI tracking of polyethylene glycol-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide-labelled placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells toward glioblastoma stem-like cells in a mouse model

Fei Ting Hsu, Zung Hang Wei, Yogi Chang Yo Hsuan, Willie Lin, Yu Chin Su, Chia Hui Liao, Chia Ling Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that display homing and infiltration properties towards tumor cells are a promising cellular targeting vector for brain tumor therapy but are limited to local-regional delivery in current preclinical models. Here, we investigated whether placenta-derived MSCs (P-MSCs) are a superior cellular vector for systemic targeting of glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs), with an imaging modality to real-time monitor the trafficking P-MSCs to glioblastoma sites. Results demonstrated that P-MSCs had greater migratory activity towards GSCs and across blood–brain barrier compared with bone marrow-derived MSCs, and this activity was enhanced by hypoxia precondition. Chemokine ligand 5 was identified as a chemoattractant responsible for the glioblastoma tropism of P-MSCs. Polyethylene glycol-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide (PEG–SPIO) was synthesized for cellular labelling and imaging P-MSCs, displaying high cellular uptake and no cytotoxic effect on P-MSCs cell proliferation or stemness property. The homing effects of intravenously administered PEG–SPIO-labelled P-MSCs towards intracerebral GSCs were able to be detected in mice models through T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This study suggests the possibility of innovative systemic P-MSC-based cell therapy for aggressive GSCs, developing a state-of-the-art theranostic technique for real-time tracking of therapeutic P-MSCs tumor infiltration through cellular MRI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArtificial Cells, Nanomedicine and Biotechnology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • cellular MRI
  • Glioblastoma stem-like cells
  • mesenchymal stem cell tumor-homing
  • placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells
  • polyethylene glycol–coated superparamagnetic iron oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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