There has been growing interest in the role of postnatal brain development in the etiology of several neurologic diseases. The rat has long been recognized as a powerful model system for studying neuropathology and the safety of pharmacologic treatments. However, the complex spatiotemporal changes that occur during rat neurodevelopment remain to be elucidated. This work establishes the first magnetic resonance histology (MRH) atlas of the developing rat brain, with an emphasis on quantitation. The atlas comprises five specimens at each of nine time points, imaged with eight distinct MR contrasts and segmented into 26 developmentally defined brain regions. The atlas was used to establish a timeline of morphometric changes and variability throughout neurodevelopment and represents a quantitative database of rat neurodevelopment for characterizing rat models of human neurologic disease.
Published by Elsevier Inc.