Technetium-99m scintigraphy to visualize T-cell homing in vivo: A preclinical study

Alessandro Fulgenzi, Elisabetta Ferrero, Massimo Gasparini, Rosangela Casati, Fabio Riccardo Colombo, Paolo Gerundini, Maria Elena Ferrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The knowledge of lymphocyte distribution is very usefulness in monitoring therapeutic treatments. We present here a method employed in clinical practice, the scintigraphy, to study in the rat the physiologic lymphocyte traffic. Rat T cells labeled with 99mTc were injected in syngeneic animals, and their fate was studied by serial scintigraphic scanning. Sorted naïve CD4+ CD45RCbright T cells homed to lymphoid organs and accumulated in spleen. CD4+ CD45RCdim memory lymphocytes first reached the liver and the lungs and recirculated. The results obtained by using the scintigraphic method to in vivo study the lymphocyte homing in rats are comparable to those obtained with previously used experimental methods. We consider the scintigraphic method a useful tool to in vivo track lymphocytes and to address therapeutic treatment in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Cell homing
  • Memory cells
  • Naïve cells
  • Rat
  • Scintigraphy
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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