Manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) of mouse brain development

Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.
NMR in Biomedicine (Impact Factor: 3.56). 11/2004; 17(8):613-9. DOI: 10.1002/nbm.932
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Given the importance of genetically modified mice in studies of mammalian brain development and human congenital brain diseases, MRI has the potential to provide an efficient in vivo approach for analyzing mutant phenotypes in the early postnatal mouse brain. The combination of reduced tissue contrast at the high magnetic fields required for mice, and the changing cellular composition of the developing mouse brain make it difficult to optimize MRI contrast in neonatal mouse imaging. We have explored an easily implemented approach for contrast-enhanced imaging, using systemically administered manganese (Mn) to reveal fine anatomical detail in T1-weighted MR images of neonatal mouse brains. In particular, we demonstrate the utility of this Mn-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) method for analyzing early postnatal patterning of the mouse cerebellum. Through comparisons with matched histological sections, we further show that MEMRI enhancement correlates qualitatively with granule cell density in the developing cerebellum, suggesting that the cerebellar enhancement is due to uptake of Mn in the granule neurons. Finally, variable cerebellar defects in mice with a conditional mutation in the Gbx2 gene were analyzed with MEMRI to demonstrate the utility of this method for mutant mouse phenotyping. Taken together, our results indicate that MEMRI provides an efficient and powerful in vivo method for analyzing neonatal brain development in normal and genetically engineered mice.

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    ABSTRACT: PurposeManganese (Mn) is an effective contrast agent and biologically active metal, which has been widely used for Mn-enhanced MRI (MEMRI). The purpose of this study was to develop and test a Mn binding protein for use as a genetic reporter for MEMRI.Methods The bacterial Mn-binding protein, MntR was identified as a candidate reporter protein. MntR was engineered for expression in mammalian cells, and targeted to different subcellular organelles, including the Golgi Apparatus where cellular Mn is enriched. Transfected HEK293 cells and B16 melanoma cells were tested in vitro and in vivo, using immunocytochemistry, MR imaging and relaxometry.ResultsSubcellular targeting of MntR to the cytosol, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus was verified with immunocytochemistry. After targeting to the Golgi, MntR expression produced robust R1 changes and T1 contrast in cells, in vitro and in vivo. Co-expression with the divalent metal transporter DMT1, a previously described Mn-based reporter, further enhanced contrast in B16 cells in culture, but in the in vivo B16 tumor model tested was not significantly better than MntR alone.Conclusion This second-generation reporter system both expands the capabilities of genetically encoded reporters for imaging with MEMRI and provides important insights into the mechanisms of Mn biology which create endogenous MEMRI contrast. Magn Reson Med, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental enrichment is a model of increased structural brain plasticity. Previous histological observations have shown molecular and cellular changes in a few pre-determined areas of the rodent brain. However, little is known about the time course of enrichment-induced brain changes and how they distribute across the whole brain. Here we expose adult mice to three weeks of environmental enrichment using a novel re-configurable maze design. In-vivo MRI shows volumetric brain changes in brain areas related to spatial memory, navigation, and sensorimotor experience, such as the hippocampal formation and the sensorimotor cortex. Evidence from a second cohort of mice indicates that these plastic changes might occur as early as 24h after exposure. This suggests that novel experiences are powerful modulators of plasticity even in the adult brain. Understanding and harnessing the underlying molecular mechanisms could advance future treatments of neurological disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    NeuroImage 01/2015; 109. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.01.027 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mouse models have increased our understanding of the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma (MB), the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor that often forms in the cerebellum. A major goal of ongoing research is to better understand the early stages of tumorigenesis and to establish the genetic and environmental changes that underlie MB initiation and growth. However, studies of MB progression in mouse models are difficult due to the heterogeneity of tumor onset times and growth patterns and the lack of clinical symptoms at early stages. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is critical for noninvasive, longitudinal, three-dimensional (3D) brain tumor imaging in the clinic but is limited in resolution and sensitivity for imaging early MBs in mice. In this study, high-resolution (100 μm in 2 hours) and high-throughput (150 μm in 15 minutes) manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) protocols were optimized for early detection and monitoring of MBs in a Patched-1 (Ptch1) conditional knockout (CKO) model. The high tissue contrast obtained with MEMRI revealed detailed cerebellar morphology and enabled detection of MBs over a wide range of stages including pretumoral lesions as early as 2 to 3 weeks postnatal with volumes close to 0.1 mm(3). Furthermore, longitudinal MEMRI allowed noninvasive monitoring of tumors and demonstrated that lesions within and between individuals have different tumorigenic potentials. 3D volumetric studies allowed quantitative analysis of MB tumor morphology and growth rates in individual Ptch1-CKO mice. These results show that MEMRI provides a powerful method for early in vivo detection and longitudinal imaging of MB progression in the mouse brain.
    Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 12/2014; 16(12):993. DOI:10.1016/j.neo.2014.10.001 · 5.40 Impact Factor

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