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Proceedings Paper

MRI as a tool to study brain structure from mouse models for mental retardation
Author(s): Marleen Verhoye; Jan Sijbers; R. F. Kooy; E. Reyniers; E. Fransen; B. A. Oostra; Peter Willems; Anne-Marie Van der Linden
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Paper Abstract

Nowadays, transgenic mice are a common tool to study brain abnormalities in neurological disorders. These studies usually rely on neuropathological examinations, which have a number of drawbacks, including the risk of artefacts introduced by fixation and dehydration procedures. Here we present 3D Fast Spin Echo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in combination with 2D and 3D segmentation techniques as a powerful tool to study brain anatomy. We set up MRI of the brain in mouse models for the fragile X syndrome (FMR1 knockout) and Corpus callosum hypoplasia, mental Retardation, Adducted thumbs, Spastic paraplegia and Hydrocephalus (CRASH) syndrome (L1CAM knockout). Our major goal was to determine qualitative and quantitative differences in specific brain structures. MRI of the brain of fragile X and CRASH patients has revealed alterations in the size of specific brain structures, including the cerebellar vermis and the ventricular system. In the present MRI study of the brain from fragile X knockout mice, we have measured the size of the brain, cerebellum and 4th ventricle, which were reported as abnormal in human fragile X patients, but found no evidence for altered brain regions in the mouse model. In CRASH syndrome, the most specific brain abnormalities are vermis hypoplasia and abnormalities of the ventricular system with some degree of hydrocephalus. With the MRI study of L1CAM knockout mice we found vermis hypoplasia, abnormalities of the ventricular system including dilatation of the lateral and the 4th ventricles. These subtle abnormalities were not detected upon standard neuropathological examination. Here we proved that this sensitive MRI technique allows to measure small differences which can not always be detected by means of pathology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 July 1998
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3337, Medical Imaging 1998: Physiology and Function from Multidimensional Images, (3 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.312577
Show Author Affiliations
Marleen Verhoye, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)
Jan Sijbers, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)
R. F. Kooy, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)
E. Reyniers, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)
E. Fransen, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)
B. A. Oostra, Erasmus Univ. (Netherlands)
Peter Willems, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)
Anne-Marie Van der Linden, Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3337:
Medical Imaging 1998: Physiology and Function from Multidimensional Images
Eric A. Hoffman, Editor(s)

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