[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strong genetic evidence implicates mutations and polymorphisms in the gene Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) as risk factors for both schizophrenia and mood disorders. Recent studies have shown that DISC1 has important functions in both brain development and adult brain function. We have described earlier a transgenic mouse model of inducible expression of mutant human DISC1 (hDISC1) that acts in a dominant-negative manner to induce the marked neurobehavioral abnormalities. To gain insight into the roles of DISC1 at various stages of neurodevelopment, we examined the effects of mutant hDISC1 expressed during (1) only prenatal period, (2) only postnatal period, or (3) both periods. All periods of expression similarly led to decreased levels of cortical dopamine (DA) and fewer parvalbumin-positive neurons in the cortex. Combined prenatal and postnatal expression produced increased aggression and enhanced response to psychostimulants in male mice along with increased linear density of dendritic spines on neurons of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and lower levels of endogenous DISC1 and LIS1. Prenatal expression only resulted in smaller brain volume, whereas selective postnatal expression gave rise to decreased social behavior in male mice and depression-like responses in female mice as well as enlarged lateral ventricles and decreased DA content in the hippocampus of female mice, and decreased level of endogenous DISC1. Our data show that mutant hDISC1 exerts differential effects on neurobehavioral phenotypes, depending on the stage of development at which the protein is expressed. The multiple and diverse abnormalities detected in mutant DISC1 mice are reminiscent of findings in major mental diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RTT, caused by mutations in the methyl CPG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene, is a disorder of neuronal maturation and connections. Our aim was to prospectively examine FA by DTI and correlate this with certain clinical features in patients with RTT.
Thirty-two patients with RTT underwent neurologic assessments and DTI. Thirty-seven age-matched healthy female control subjects were studied for comparison. With use of a 1.5T MR imaging unit, DTI data were acquired, and FA was evaluated to investigate multiple regional tract-specific abnormalities in patients with RTT.
In RTT, significant reductions in FA were noted in the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum and external capsule, with regions of significant reductions in the cingulate, internal capsule, posterior thalamic radiation, and frontal white matter. In contrast, FA of visual pathways was similar to control subjects. FA in the superior longitudinal fasciculus, which is associated with speech, was equal to control subjects in patients with preserved speech (phrases and sentences) (P = .542), whereas FA was reduced in those patients who were nonverbal or speaking only single words (P < .001). No correlations between FA values for tracts and clinical features such as seizures, gross or fine motor skills, and head circumference were identified.
DTI, a noninvasive technique to assess white matter tract pathologic features, may add specificity to the assessment of RTT clinical severity that is presently based on the classification of MeCP2 gene mutation and X-inactivation.
American Journal of Neuroradiology 10/2009; 31(2):295-9. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stereotaxic atlases of the mouse brain are important in neuroscience research for targeting of specific internal brain structures during surgical operations. The effectiveness of stereotaxic surgery depends on accurate mapping of the brain structures relative to landmarks on the skull. During postnatal development in the mouse, rapid growth-related changes in the brain occur concurrently with growth of bony plates at the cranial sutures, therefore adult mouse brain atlases cannot be used to precisely guide stereotaxis in developing brains. In this study, three-dimensional stereotaxic atlases of C57BL/6J mouse brains at six postnatal developmental stages: postnatal day (P) 7, P14, P21, P28, P63 and in adults (P140-P160) were developed, using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and micro-computed tomography (CT). At present, most widely-used stereotaxic atlases of the mouse brain are based on histology, but the anatomical fidelity of ex vivo atlases to in vivo mouse brains has not been evaluated previously. To account for ex vivo tissue distortion due to fixation as well as individual variability in the brain, we developed a population-averaged in vivo magnetic resonance imaging adult mouse brain stereotaxic atlas, and a distortion-corrected DTI atlas was generated by nonlinearly warping ex vivo data to the population-averaged in vivo atlas. These atlas resources were developed and made available through a new software user-interface with the objective of improving the accuracy of targeting brain structures during stereotaxic surgery in developing and adult C57BL/6J mouse brains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A strong candidate gene for schizophrenia and major mental disorders, disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) was first described in a large Scottish family in which a balanced chromosomal translocation segregates with schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses. The translocation mutation may result in loss of DISC1 function via haploinsufficiency or dominant-negative effects of a predicted mutant DISC1 truncated protein product. DISC1 has been implicated in neurodevelopment, including maturation of the cerebral cortex. To evaluate the neuronal and behavioral effects of mutant DISC1, the Tet-off system under the regulation of the CAMKII promoter was used to generate transgenic mice with inducible expression of mutant human DISC1 (hDISC1) limited to forebrain regions, including cerebral cortex, hippocampus and striatum. Expression of mutant hDISC1 was not associated with gross neurodevelopmental abnormalities, but led to a mild enlargement of the lateral ventricles and attenuation of neurite outgrowth in primary cortical neurons. These morphological changes were associated with decreased protein levels of endogenous mouse DISC1, LIS1 and SNAP-25. Compared to their sex-matched littermate controls, mutant hDISC1 transgenic male mice exhibited spontaneous hyperactivity in the open field and alterations in social interaction, and transgenic female mice showed deficient spatial memory. The results show that the neuronal and behavioral effects of mutant hDISC1 are consistent with a dominant-negative mechanism, and are similar to some features of schizophrenia. The present mouse model may facilitate the study of aspects of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional MR imaging shows evidence of brain injury and/or maldevelopment in 70%-90% of children with cerebral palsy (CP), though its capability to identify specific white matter tract injury is limited. The great variability of white matter lesions in CP already demonstrated by postmortem studies is thought to be one of the reasons why response to treatment is so variable. Our hypothesis is that diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a suitable technique to provide in vivo characterization of specific white matter tract lesions in children with CP associated with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL).
In this study, 24 children with CP associated with PVL and 35 healthy controls were evaluated with DTI. Criteria for identification of 26 white matter tracts on the basis of 2D DTI color-coded maps were established, and a qualitative scoring system, based on visual inspection of the tracts in comparison with age-matched controls, was used to grade the severity of abnormalities. An ordinal grading system (0=normal, 1=abnormal, 2=severely abnormal or absent) was used to score each white matter tract.
There was marked variability in white matter injury pattern in patients with PVL, with the most frequent injury to the retrolenticular part of the internal capsule, posterior thalamic radiation, superior corona radiata, and commissural fibers.
DTI is a suitable technique for in vivo assessment of specific white matter lesions in patients with PVL and, thus, a potentially valuable diagnostic tool. The tract-specific evaluation revealed a family of tracts that are highly susceptible in PVL, important information that can potentially be used to tailor treatment options in the future.
American Journal of Neuroradiology 09/2007; 28(7):1213-22. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While holding vast potential, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with single-excitation protocols still faces serious challenges. Limited spatial resolution, susceptibility to magnetic field inhomogeneity, and low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) may be considered the most prominent limitations. It is demonstrated that all of these shortcomings can be effectively mitigated by the transition to parallel imaging technology and high magnetic field strength. Using the sensitivity encoding (SENSE) technique at 3 T, brain DTI was performed in nine healthy volunteers. Despite enhanced field inhomogeneity, parallel acquisition permitted both controlling geometric distortions and enhancing spatial resolution up to 0.8 mm in-plane. Heightened SNR requirements were met in part by high base sensitivity at 3 T. A further significant increase in SNR efficiency was accomplished by SENSE acquisition, exploiting enhanced encoding speed for echo time reduction. Based on the resulting image data, high-resolution tensor mapping is demonstrated.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 03/2004; 51(2):230-6. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors used diffusion-tensor imaging to examine central white matter pathways in two children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Corticospinal tracts projecting from cortex to brainstem resembled controls. In contrast, posterior regions of the corpus callosum, internal capsule, and corona radiata were markedly reduced, primarily in white matter fibers connected to sensory cortex. These findings suggest that the motor impairment in periventricular leukomalacia may, in part, reflect disruption of sensory connections outside classic pyramidal motor pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging is a key instrument for determining structural and in vivo functional status of the brain, non-invasively. Multiple approaches can now determine aspects of anatomic and neurochemical changes in brain, and have been utilized effectively in Rett Syndrome patients to understand the biological basis of this neurodevelopmental disorder. Studies performed at our institute include volumetric analyses of MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), cerebral blood flow measurements with MRI, and positron emission tomography scans (PET). These studies have provided considerable insight into mechanisms underlying the clinical features of this disease. Volumetric analyses suggest that decreased brain volume in RS results from global reductions in both gray and white matter of the brain. A selective vulnerability of the frontal lobes is evidenced by the preferential reduction of blood flow, increased choline and reduced n-acetyl aspartate (NAA) by MRS, and increased glucose uptake in these same regions as shown by ((18)F)-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET scans. We hypothesize that the increased glucose uptake relates to increased glutamate cycling in synapses. The resulting neuroexcitotoxic injury to the developing brain contributes to the seizures, behavioral disturbance and respiratory irregularities commonly seen in phases 1 and 2 of this disorder.
Brain and Development 01/2002; 23 Suppl 1:S62-71. · 1.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MRI studies using mouse brain models of ischemia are becoming a valuable tool for understanding the mechanism of stroke, since transgenic models are now available. However, the small size of the mouse brain and the surgical complexity of creating ischemia in mice make it technically challenging to obtain high-quality MRI data. Therefore, there are few reports of MRI studies in murine cerebral ischemia. In this project a newly developed rapid 3D diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) technique was applied to study experimental stroke in a mouse model of reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Ischemic volumes were successfully delineated using this 3D whole-brain imaging technique with high spatial (0.34 x 0.5 x 1.0 mm(3) before zero-filling) and temporal (7 min) resolution. The 3D observation revealed the characteristic evolution of stroke after transient MCAO. There was a temporarily high diffusion constant in the cortex during early reperfusion, followed by a secondary energy failure in the cortex and caudate-putamen at 6 and 21 h of reperfusion. Magn Reson Med 46:183-188, 2001.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 08/2001; 46(1):183-8. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is shown that diffusion tensor MR imaging (DTI) can discretely delineate the microstructure of white matter and gray matter in embryonic and early postnatal mouse brains based on the existence and orientation of ordered structures. This order was found not only in white matter but also in the cortical plate and the periventricular zone, which are precursors of the cerebral cortex. This DTI-based information could be used to accomplish the automated spatial definition of the cortical plate and various axonal tracts. The DTI studies also revealed a characteristic evolution of diffusion anisotropy in the cortex of the developing brain. This ability to detect changes in the organization of the brain during development will greatly enhance morphological studies of transgenic and knockout models of cortical dysfunction. Magn Reson Med 46:18-23, 2001.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 08/2001; 46(1):18-23. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain diffusion tensor MRI of 11 boys with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy was performed. The authors determined quantitative isotropic apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC(i)) and fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the white matter. ADC(i) and FA values in the affected white matter were significantly different from those in normal-appearing white matter. Zonal ADC(i) and FA gradations, which might originate from well-established histopathologic zonal changes, existed within affected white matter.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The in situ assessment of axonal projections of the brain has been severely limited by the lack of noninvasive techniques to study this type of anatomy. We show here that in vivo three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of axonal projections can be achieved using a rapid 3D high-resolution diffusion-weighted imaging technique combined with a recently designed fiber reconstruction algorithm. As a first example, neuronal pathways in the rat brain were probed. Eight well-known fiber projections; genu and splenium of corpus callosum, internal and external capsule, fimbria, anterior commissure, optic tract, and stria terminalis were tracked and shown to be in agreement with the location of these known axonal projections. The experiment took 2 hr and shorter times should be possible in the clinical situation. By combining anisotropy information with fiber tracking, the anisotropy of individual projections was also documented. Magn Reson Med 42:1123-1127, 1999.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 01/2000; 42(6):1123-7. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most rapidly evolving techniques in the MRI field. This method exploits the random diffusional motion of water molecules, which has intriguing properties depending on the physiological and anatomical environment of the organisms studied. We explain the principles of this emerging technique and subsequently introduce some of its present applications to neuroimaging, namely detection of ischemic stroke and reconstruction of axonal bundles and myelin fibers.