Research report 2006 - Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research
MRI investigations into chronic stroke development: basis for cell replacement therapy
Allgemeine Neurologie (Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Heiss)
MPI für neurologische Forschung, Köln
SummaryResearch of the in vivo NMR laboratory focusses on the regeneration potential of stem cells after stroke. This therapeutical strategy of cell replacement acts during several days or weeks after the onset of the primary disease event. One of the fundamental prerequisites for a causal based therapy development is the understanding of the lesion in its chronic development. Inflammatory activity is an essential factor during this period. Investigations into the functional brain activation are expected to provide information about the spontaneous and the therapy induced recovery potential of the brain after stroke. These various pathophysiologically relevant phases of the disease development are followed and characterized in the experimental animal system using highly resolved magnetic resonance imaging. New therapeutic strategies of stem cell based regeneration are analyzed for their effectiveness, based on such detailed longitudinal studies. On the methodological end, development and application – achieved in international cooperations – of intelligent contrast agents as well as generation of transgenic cell lines which produce their own contrast agent utilizing suitable promotors, will essentially improve the detectability and the information content of functional characteristics of the implanted stem cells, facilitated by in vivo high field MRI.