Magnetic resonance imaging of neural transplants in rat brain using a superparamagnetic contrast agent

Andrew B. Norman, Stephen R. Thomas, Ronald G. Pratt, Sunny Y. Lu, Robert B. Norgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Rat fetal brain tissue was incubated in vitro with superparamagnetic ferrite particles covalently coupled to the lectin wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and transplanted into the adult rat striatum. At 6 days and at 3 weeks post-surgery the transplants were observed on T1 weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images of the rat head as an area of relatively low signal intensity which could be clearly differentiated from the higher signal intensity produced by the host brain. Histological analysis revealed that the ferrite particles were largely restricted to the transplant in a patchy distribution. The ferrite particles were associated with cells having an apparent normal morphology. Superparamagnetic ferrite particles act as potent MR contrast agents and can be used to label transplanted cells. The labeled cells are apparently not adversely affected by the WGA-ferrite particles and can be monitored for at least three weeks in vivo using noninvasive MR imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 30 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell marker
  • Magnetic resonance contrast agent
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Rat brain
  • Wheat germ agglutinin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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