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High-throughput transgenic mouse phenotyping using microscopic-MRI

Cleary, JOS; (2012) High-throughput transgenic mouse phenotyping using microscopic-MRI. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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With the completion of the human genome sequence in 2003, efforts have shifted towards elucidating gene function. Such phenotypic investigations are aided by advances in techniques for genetic modification of mice, with whom we share ~99% of genes. Mice are key models for both examination of basic gene function and translational study of human conditions. Furthering these efforts, ambitious programmes are underway to produce knockout mice for the ~25,000 mouse genes. In the coming years, methods to rapidly phenotype mouse morphology will be in great demand. This thesis demonstrates the development of non-invasive microscopic magnetic resonance imaging (\muMRI) methods for high-resolution ex-vivo phenotyping of mouse embryo and mouse brain morphology. It then goes on to show the application of computational atlasing techniques to these datasets, enabling automated analysis of phenotype. First, the issue of image quality in high-throughput embryo MRI was addressed. After investigating preparation and imaging parameters, substantial gains in signal- and contrast-to-noise were achieved. This protocol was applied to a study of Chd7+/- mice (a model of CHARGE syndrome), identifying cardiac defects. Combining this protocol with automated segmentation-propagation techniques, phenotypic differences were shown between three groups of mice in a volumetric analysis involving a number of organ systems. Focussing on the mouse brain, the optimal preparation and imaging parameters to maximise image quality and structural contrast were investigated, producing a high-resolution in-skull imaging protocol. Enhanced delineation of hippocampal and cerebellar structures was observed, correlating well to detailed histological comparisons. Subsequently this protocol was applied to a phenotypic investigation of the Tc1 model of Down syndrome. Using both visual inspection and automated, tensor based morphometry, novel phenotypic findings were identified in brain and inner ear structures. It is hoped that a combination of \muMRI with computational analysis techniques, as presented in this work, may help ease the burden of current phenotyping efforts.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: High-throughput transgenic mouse phenotyping using microscopic-MRI
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the e-thesis
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Medicine (Division of)
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1347518
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