Ultrasound-guided intracardiac injection of human mesenchymal stem cells to increase homing to the intestine for use in murine models of experimental inflammatory bowel diseases

Maneesh Dave, Paola Menghini, Keiki Sugi, Rodrigo A. Somoza, Zhenghong Lee, Mukesh Jain, Arnold Caplan, Fabio Cominelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Crohn’s disease (CD) is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the small and large intestines. Murine and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have immunosuppressive potential and have been shown to suppress inflammation in mouse models of intestinal inflammation, even though the route of administration can limit their homing and effectiveness 1,3,4,5. Local application of MSCs to colonic injury models has shown greater efficacy at ameliorating inflammation in the colon. However, there is paucity of data on techniques to enhance the localization of human bone marrow-derived MSCs (hMSCs) to the small intestine, the site of inflammation in the SAMP-1/YitFc (SAMP) model of experimental Crohn’s disease. This work describes a novel technique for the ultrasound-guided intracardiac injection of hMSCs in SAMP mice, a well-characterized spontaneous model of chronic intestinal inflammation. Sex- and age-matched, inflammation-free AKR/J (AKR) mice were used as controls. To analyze the biodistribution and the localization, hMSCs were transduced with a lentivirus containing a triple reporter. The triple reporter consisted of firefly luciferase (fl), for bioluminescent imaging; monomeric red fluorescent protein (mrfp), for cell sorting; and truncated herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (ttk), for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The results of this study show that 24 h after the intracardiac administration, hMSCs localize in the small intestine of SAMP mice as opposed to inflammation-free AKR mice. This novel, ultrasound-guided injection of hMSCs in the left ventricle of SAMP mice ensures a high success rate of cell delivery, allowing for the rapid recovery of mice with minimal morbidity and mortality. This technique could be a useful method for the enhanced localization of MSCs in other models of smallintestinal inflammation, such as TNFδRE6. Future studies will determine if the increased localization of hMSCs by intra-arterial delivery can lead to increased therapeutic efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55367
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number127
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioluminescence imaging
  • Crohn’s disease
  • hMSC transduction
  • Issue 127
  • Medicine
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)
  • SAMP1/YitFc
  • Ultrasound-guided intracardiac injection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrasound-guided intracardiac injection of human mesenchymal stem cells to increase homing to the intestine for use in murine models of experimental inflammatory bowel diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this