Neuroanatomical differences between mouse strains as shown by high-resolution 3D MRI

Neuroimage. 2006 Jan 1;29(1):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.07.008. Epub 2005 Aug 9.


The search for new mouse models of human disease requires a sensitive metric to make three-dimensional (3D) anatomical comparisons in a rapid and quantifiable manner. This is especially true in the brain, where changes in complex shapes such as the hippocampus and ventricles are difficult to assess with 2D histology. Here, we report that the 3D neuroanatomy of three strains of mice (129S1/SvImJ, C57/Bl6, and CD1) is significantly different from one another. Using image co-registration, we 'morphed' together nine brains of each strain scanned by magnetic resonance imaging at (60 microm)3 resolution to synthesize an average image. We applied three methods of comparison. First, we used visual inspection and graphically examined the standard deviation of the variability in each strain. Second, we annotated 42 neural structures and compared their volumes across the strains. Third, we assessed significant local deviations in volume and displacement between the two inbred strains, independent of prior anatomical knowledge.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / anatomy & histology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Terminology as Topic