A Diffusion MRI Tractography Connectome of the Mouse Brain and Comparison with Neuronal Tracer Data.
Interest in structural brain connectivity has grown with the understanding that abnormal neural connections may play a role in neurologic and psychiatric diseases. Small animal connectivity mapping techniques are particularly important for identifying aberrant connectivity in disease models. Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging tractography can provide nondestructive, 3D, brain-wide connectivity maps, but has historically been limited by low spatial resolution, low signal-to-noise ratio, and the difficulty in estimating multiple fiber orientations within a single image voxel. Small animal diffusion tractography can be substantially improved through the combination of ex vivo MRI with exogenous contrast agents, advanced diffusion acquisition and reconstruction techniques, and probabilistic fiber tracking. Here, we present a comprehensive, probabilistic tractography connectome of the mouse brain at microscopic resolution, and a comparison of these data with a neuronal tracer-based connectivity data from the Allen Brain Atlas. This work serves as a reference database for future tractography studies in the mouse brain, and demonstrates the fundamental differences between tractography and neuronal tracer data.
Calabrese, E; Badea, A; Cofer, G; Qi, Y; Johnson, GA
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