Three-dimensional anatomical characterization of the developing mouse brain by diffusion tensor microimaging

Neuroimage. 2003 Nov;20(3):1639-48. doi: 10.1016/s1053-8119(03)00410-5.


Investigation of three-dimensional (3D) morphometry of developing brains has been hindered by a lack of imaging modalities that can monitor the 3D evolution of various anatomical structures without sectioning and staining processes. In this study, we combined magnetic resonance microimaging and diffusion tensor imaging techniques to accomplish such visualization. The application of this approach to developing mouse embryos revealed that it could clearly delineate early critical structures such as neuroepithelium, cortical plate, and various axonal structures, and follow their developmental evolution. The technique was applied to the study of the Netrin-1 mutant, allowing verification of its anatomical phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics
  • Netrin-1
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development
  • Phenotype
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Ntn1 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Netrin-1