Magnetic resonance microscopy of the C57BL mouse brain.
With the rapid progression in gene technologies, transgenic, targeted, and chemically induced mutations in mice are continually created. The major goal of these studies is to understand and characterize the effects of genotype on anatomy, physiology, and behavior and ultimately the role of genotype in development of disease. The demand for imaging techniques with high spatial resolution potential is rising because such imaging tools would expedite anatomical phenotyping in the genetically altered mice. Magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) is a noninvasive, inherently three-dimensional (3D) imaging technique capable of visualizing several anatomical structures in the small mouse. The 3D nature of MRM also allows for interpretation of complex spatial relationships between substructures, which is important when phenotyping anatomically. The goal of this paper is to systematically describe three major brain regions in the C57BL/6J mouse at microanatomical spatial resolution ranges using in vitro MRM. We explore different MR contrast parameters, voxel sizes, and signal-to-noise ratios to best characterize C57BL/6J mouse brain microstructure by MRM. Further, we compare all MRM images with Nissl-stained brain sections. Major findings were as follows: T2* MR images visualized several gross anatomical regions in the mouse brain but not, for example, subregions within the hippocampus. Diffusion proton stains on the other hand were superior to T2* MR images and delineated many subregions within the hippocampus proper. Finally, contrast enhancement facilitated visualization of hippocampal anatomy on the T2* MR images. The results of this study are part of an ongoing initiative at our Center focused on creating a complete C57BL/6J mouse anatomical 3D image database by MRM.
Benveniste, H; Kim, K; Zhang, L; Johnson, GA
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