Cre/lox-assisted non-invasive in vivo tracking of specific cell populations by positron emission tomography
Schörg, Barbara F.
Griessinger, Christoph M.
Langer, Harald F.
Pichler, Bernd J.
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Citation (published version)Martin Thunemann, Barbara F Schörg, Susanne Feil, Yun Lin, Jakob Voelkl, Matthias Golla, Angelos Vachaviolos, Ursula Kohlhofer, Leticia Quintanilla-Martinez, Marcus Olbrich, Walter Ehrlichmann, Gerald Reischl, Christoph M Griessinger, Harald F Langer, Meinrad Gawaz, Florian Lang, Michael Schäfers, Manfred Kneilling, Bernd J Pichler, Robert Feil. 2017. "Cre/lox-assisted non-invasive in vivo tracking of specific cell populations by positron emission tomography.." Nat Commun, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp. 444 - ?. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00482-y
Many pathophysiological processes are associated with proliferation, migration or death of distinct cell populations. Monitoring specific cell types and their progeny in a non-invasive, longitudinal and quantitative manner is still challenging. Here we show a novel cell-tracking system that combines Cre/lox-assisted cell fate mapping with a thymidine kinase (sr39tk) reporter gene for cell detection by positron emission tomography (PET). We generate Rosa26-mT/sr39tk PET reporter mice and induce sr39tk expression in platelets, T lymphocytes or cardiomyocytes. As proof of concept, we demonstrate that our mouse model permits longitudinal PET imaging and quantification of T-cell homing during inflammation and cardiomyocyte viability after myocardial infarction. Moreover, Rosa26-mT/sr39tk mice are useful for whole-body characterization of transgenic Cre mice and to detect previously unknown Cre activity. We anticipate that the Cre-switchable PET reporter mice will be broadly applicable for non-invasive long-term tracking of selected cell populations in vivo.Non-invasive cell tracking is a powerful method to visualize cells in vivo under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Here Thunemann et al. generate a mouse model for in vivo tracking and quantification of specific cell types by combining a PET reporter gene with Cre-dependent activation that can be exploited for any cell population for which a Cre mouse line is available.
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