MRI as a tool to study brain structure from mouse models of mental retardation
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
San Diego, Calif. , 1998
Proceedings of SPIE Medical Imaging 1998: Image Processing / Hanson, Kenneth M. [edit.]
University of Antwerp
Nowadays, transgenic mice are a common tool to study brain abnormalities in neurological disorders. These studies usually rely on neuropathological examinations, which have a number of drawbacks, including the risk of artefacts introduced by fixation and dehydration procedures. Here we present 3D Fast Spin Echo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in combination with 2D and 3D segmentation techniques as a powerful tool to study brain anatomy. We set up MRI of the brain in mouse models for the fragile X syndrome (FMR1 knockout) and Corpus callosum hypoplasia, mental Retardation, Adducted thumbs, Spastic paraplegia and Hydrocephalus (CRASH) syndrome (L1CAM knockout). Our major goal was to determine qualitative and quantitative differences in specific brain structures. MRI of the brain of fragile X and CRASH patients has revealed alterations in the size of specific brain structures, including the cerebellar vermis and the ventricular system. In the present MRI study of the brain from fragile X knockout mice, we have measured the size of the brain, cerebellum and 4(th) ventricle, which were reported as abnormal in human fragile X patients, but found no evidence for altered brain regions in the mouse model. In CRASH syndrome, the most specfic brain abnormalities are vermis hypoplasia and abnormalities of the ventricular system with some degree of hydrocephalus. With the MRT study of L1CAM knockout mice we found vermis hypoplasia, abnormalities of the ventricular system including dilatation of the lateral and the 4(th) ventricles. These subtle abnormalities were not detected upon standard neuropathological examination. Here we proved that this sensitive MRI technique allows to measure small differences which can not always be detected by means of pathology.