Cytotoxicity of 111In-oxine on mesenchymal stem cells: A time-dependent adverse effect

Ali Gholamrezanezhad, Sahar Mirpour, Jalil Majd Ardekani, Mohammad Bagheri, Kamran Alimoghadam, Sarah Yarmand, Reza Malekzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Radioactive labeling with 111indium ( 111In) tracers has been among the most widely used methods for tracking stem cells. As the first experiment on human stem cells, we designed a study to continuously follow the influence of 111In labeling on stem cell viability during the 2-week period of postlabeling. Methods After culturing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), we divided the cells into six samples, each of which contained 1 × 10 6 MSCs. The first sample was considered as the control. The remaining five samples (samples 2-6) were labeled with the following doses of 111In-oxine, respectively: 0.76, 1.64, 3.48, 5.33, and 7.16 MBq/10 6 MSCs. To evaluate the effects of 111In-oxine labeling on cellular viability and count, all samples were examined immediately after labeling (2 h) as well as 24, 48 h, and 5, 7, and 14 days postlabeling. Results No statistically significant relationship was found between labeling efficiency and administered dose. Associations between the specific activity and radiotracer dosage was significant (P= 0.001, r =0.9). In addition, a negative correlation was noted between radiotracer dosage and viability during the 2-week period of follow-up. Conclusion Cytotoxic effects of 111In on human stem cells is a time-dependent phenomenon and hence, assessment of the stem cell viability immediately after labeling (which is frequently made in clinical trials) is unable to detect adverse effects of this radiopharmaceutical on the integrity of stem cells. Even low doses of 111In-oxine are accompanied by significant cell loss in a 2-week period. Although it has been confirmed that nuclear medicine techniques are the most sensitive methods for stem cell tracking, we recommend that the application of this tracking technique should be treated with great reserve, and if necessary, as little of 111In-oxine as possible should be added to the cells (or only a limited portion of the cells should be labeled) to minimize cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear medicine communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Indium-oxine
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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