Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance histology reveals microstructural changes in the developing rat brain.
The postnatal period is a remarkably dynamic phase of brain growth and development characterized by large-scale macrostructural changes, as well as dramatic microstructural changes, including myelination and cortical layering. This crucial period of neurodevelopment is uniquely susceptible to a wide variety of insults that may lead to neurologic disease. MRI is an important tool for studying both normal and abnormal neurodevelopmental changes, and quantitative imaging strategies like diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) allow visualization of many of the complex microstructural changes that occur during postnatal life. Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance histology (DT-MRH) provides particularly unique insight into cytoarchitectural changes in the developing brain. In this study, we used DT-MRH to track microstructural changes in the rat brain throughout normal postnatal neurodevelopment. We provide examples of diffusion tensor parameter changes in both white matter and gray matter structures, and correlate these changes with changes in cytoarchitecture. Finally, we provide a comprehensive database of image sets as a foundation for future studies using DT-MRH to characterize abnormal neurodevelopment in rodent models of neurodevelopmental disease.
Calabrese, E; Johnson, GA
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