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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (8)
Articles by Shoshana Spring in JoVE
Multiple-mouse Neuroanatomical Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Jun Dazai*1, Shoshana Spring*1, Lindsay S. Cahill1, R. Mark Henkelman1,2
1Mouse Imaging Centre, Hospital for Sick Children, 2Department of Medical Biophysics and Medical Imaging, University of Toronto
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an increasingly popular tool for examining the phenotype of genetically altered mice. This article illustrates the methods necessary to achieve high-throughput phenotyping of genetically altered mice using multiple-mouse MRI.
Other articles by Shoshana Spring on PubMed
Sexual Dimorphism Revealed in the Structure of the Mouse Brain Using Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
NeuroImage. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17408971
A large variety of sexual dimorphisms have been described in the brains of many vertebrate species, including humans. Naturally occurring sexual dimorphism has been implicated in the risk, progression and recovery from numerous neurological disorders, including head injury, multiple sclerosis and stroke. Genetically altered mice are a key tool in the study of structure-function relationships in the mammalian central nervous system and serve as models for human neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. However, there are a limited number of quantitative three-dimensional analyses of the adult mouse brain structures. In order to address limitations in our knowledge of anatomical differences, a comprehensive study was undertaken using full 3D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine sexual dimorphisms in the C57BL/6J whole mouse brain. An expected difference in overall brain size between the sexes was found, where male brains were 2.5% larger in volume than female brains. Beyond the overall brain size differences in the sexes, the following significantly different regions were found: males were larger in the thalamus, primary motor cortex and posterior hippocampus, while females were larger in posterior hypothalamic area, entorhinal cortex and anterior hippocampus. Using high-definition 3D MRI on a normal inbred mouse strain, we have mapped in detail many sex-associated statistically significant differences in brain structures.
NeuroImage. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17942324
The YAC128 mouse recapitulates many of the clinical features of Huntington disease (HD), including selective neuropathology with neuronal loss. Here we investigate whether differences in neuroanatomy could be detected using high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging earlier than the previously defined 9-month age of onset of striatal neuropathology. The striatum is significantly decreased in volume (3.4%, p<0.02) at 8 months of age. A subset of the brains was also analyzed using stereology, and the MR measures were found to be more robust at separating the two groups of mice. Striatal degeneration was found to be asymmetric, with the dorsal and lateral aspects of the striatum being most affected. Non-striatal changes in neuroanatomy were also investigated, revealing regions of expansion as well as atrophy. Our findings suggest that MR imaging can be used to detect and monitor subtle anatomical differences throughout the whole brain and at early time points in the YAC128 mouse-model of HD.
NeuroImage. Jun, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18387826
A recent study found differences in localised regions of the cortex between the YAC128 mouse model of Huntington's Disease (HD) and wild-type mice. There are, however, few tools to automatically examine shape differences in the cortices of mice. This paper describes an algorithm for automatically measuring cortical thickness across the entire cortex from MRI of fixed mouse brain specimens. An analysis of the variance of the method showed that, on average, a 50 microm (0.05 mm) localised difference in cortical thickness can be measured using MR scans. Applying these methods to 8-month-old YAC128 mouse model mice representing an early stage of HD, we found an increase in cortical thickness in the sensorimotor cortex, and also revealed regions wherein decreasing striatal volume correlated with increasing cortical thickness, indicating a potential compensatory response.
Neuron. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18786355
The genetic mechanisms that regulate neurodegeneration are only poorly understood. We show that the loss of one allele of the p53 family member, p73, makes mice susceptible to neurodegeneration as a consequence of aging or Alzheimer's disease (AD). Behavioral analyses demonstrated that old, but not young, p73+/- mice displayed reduced motor and cognitive function, CNS atrophy, and neuronal degeneration. Unexpectedly, brains of aged p73+/- mice demonstrated dramatic accumulations of phospho-tau (P-tau)-positive filaments. Moreover, when crossed to a mouse model of AD expressing a mutant amyloid precursor protein, brains of these mice showed neuronal degeneration and early and robust formation of tangle-like structures containing P-tau. The increase in P-tau was likely mediated by JNK; in p73+/- neurons, the activity of the p73 target JNK was enhanced, and JNK regulated P-tau levels. Thus, p73 is essential for preventing neurodegeneration, and haploinsufficiency for p73 may be a susceptibility factor for AD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Arthritis and Rheumatism. Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19479832
Similar to patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, autoimmune MRL/lpr mice spontaneously develop behavioral deficits and pathologic changes in the brain. Given that the disease-associated brain atrophy in this model is not well understood, the present study was undertaken to determine the time course of morphometric changes in major brain structures of autoimmune MRL/lpr mice.
NeuroImage. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20026229
Asymmetries of multiple components of the rodent cerebrum have been described at various levels of organization. Yet, despite its ubiquitous nature, many confusing and sometimes contradictory reports regarding structural asymmetries in the rodent brain have been published. There is a need, therefore, for a whole-brain imaging analysis technique for asymmetry studies that is both accurate, reproducible and robust. To this end, a comprehensive three-dimensional examination of differences in brain structure in an inbred mouse strain was undertaken. The goal of this study was thus to use high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging to assess structural asymmetries in the adult C57Bl/6J mouse brain. Fixed brain T2-weighted images of 20 male C57Bl/6J mice were acquired on a 7T scanner at 32 microm isotropic resolution. We used voxel-based analyses to examine structural asymmetries throughout the whole mouse brain. The striatum, medial-posterior regions of the thalamus, and motor, sensorimotor, and visual cortex were found to be asymmetrical. The most significant asymmetry was found in the hippocampus and, specifically, the dentate gyrus. In each case, the left region was larger than the right. No other regions of the mouse brain showed structural asymmetry. The results in the dentate gyrus were confirmed using stereology, revealing a correlation of r=0.61 between magnetic resonance and stereological measures. Hippocampal, along with cortical asymmetry, has been discussed repeatedly in the literature, yet a clear pattern of directionality, until this point, has not been described. The findings of asymmetry in the striatum and absence of asymmetry in the rest of the brain are novel and show the advantage of using the whole-brain three-dimensional techniques developed herein for assessing asymmetry.
Human Molecular Genetics. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20442137
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the presence of an extra copy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and is the most common genetic cause for developmental cognitive disability. The regions on Hsa21 are syntenically conserved with three regions located on mouse chromosome 10 (Mmu10), Mmu16 and Mmu17. In this report, we describe a new mouse model for DS that carries duplications spanning the entire Hsa21 syntenic regions on all three mouse chromosomes. This mouse mutant exhibits DS-related neurological defects, including impaired cognitive behaviors, reduced hippocampal long-term potentiation and hydrocephalus. These results suggest that when all the mouse orthologs of the Hsa21 genes are triplicated, an abnormal cognitively relevant phenotype is the final outcome of the elevated expressions of these orthologs as well as all the possible functional interactions among themselves and/or with other mouse genes. Because of its desirable genotype and phenotype, this mutant may have the potential to serve as one of the reference models for further understanding the developmental cognitive disability associated with DS and may also be used for developing novel therapeutic interventions for this clinical manifestation of the disorder.
NeuroImage. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22305951
In fixed mouse brain magnetic resonance images, a high prevalence of fixation artifacts have been observed. Of more than 1700 images of fixed brains acquired at our laboratory, fixation artifacts were present in approximately 30%. In this study, two of these artifacts are described and their causes are identified. A hyperintense rim around the brain is observed when using perfusates reconstituted from powder and delivered at a high flow rate. It is proposed that these perfusion conditions cause blockage of the capillary beds and an increase in pressure that ruptures the vessels, resulting in a blister of liquid below the dura mater. Secondly, gray-white matter contrast inversion is observed when too short a fixation time or too low a concentration of fixative is used, resulting in inadequate fixation. The deleterious consequences of these artifacts for quantitative data analysis are discussed, and precautions for their prevention are provided.