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Comparison of In Vivo and Ex Vivo MRI for the Detection of Structural Abnormalities in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy

Holmes, HE; Powell, NM; Ma, D; Ismail, O; Harrison, IF; Wells, JA; Colgan, N; ... Lythgoe, MF; + view all (2017) Comparison of In Vivo and Ex Vivo MRI for the Detection of Structural Abnormalities in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics , 11 , Article 20. 10.3389/fninf.2017.00020. Green open access

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Abstract

With increasingly large numbers of mouse models of human disease dedicated to MRI studies, compromises between in vivo and ex vivo MRI must be fully understood in order to inform the choice of imaging methodology. We investigate the application of high resolution in vivo and ex vivo MRI, in combination with tensor-based morphometry (TBM), to uncover morphological differences in the rTg4510 mouse model of tauopathy. The rTg4510 mouse also offers a novel paradigm by which the overexpression of mutant tau can be regulated by the administration of doxycycline, providing us with a platform on which to investigate more subtle alterations in morphology with morphometry. Both in vivo and ex vivo MRI allowed the detection of widespread bilateral patterns of atrophy in the rTg4510 mouse brain relative to wild-type controls. Regions of volume loss aligned with neuronal loss and pathological tau accumulation demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. When we sought to investigate more subtle structural alterations in the rTg4510 mice relative to a subset of doxycycline-treated rTg4510 mice, ex vivo imaging enabled the detection of more regions of morphological brain changes. The disadvantages of ex vivo MRI may however mitigate this increase in sensitivity: we observed a 10% global shrinkage in brain volume of the post-mortem tissues due to formalin fixation, which was most notable in the cerebellum and olfactory bulbs. However, many central brain regions were not adversely affected by the fixation protocol, perhaps due to our “in-skull” preparation. The disparity between our TBM findings from in vivo and ex vivo MRI underlines the importance of appropriate study design, given the trade-off between these two imaging approaches. We support the utility of in vivo MRI for morphological phenotyping of mouse models of disease; however, for subtler phenotypes, ex vivo offers enhanced sensitivity to discrete morphological changes.

Type: Article
Title: Comparison of In Vivo and Ex Vivo MRI for the Detection of Structural Abnormalities in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fninf.2017.00020
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2017.00020
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: MRI imaging, preclinical imaging, in vivo imaging, phenotyping, tensor-based morphometry, tauopathy, mouse models, neurodegeneration
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Department of Imaging
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1552847
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