Background and purpose: Brain iron overload is a key factor causing brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). This study quantified brain iron levels after ICH with magnetic resonance imaging R2* mapping. The effect of minocycline on iron overload and ICH-induced brain injury in aged rats was also determined.
Methods: Aged (18 months old) male Fischer 344 rats had an intracerebral injection of autologous blood or saline, and brain iron levels were measured by magnetic resonance imaging R2* mapping. Some ICH rats were treated with minocycline or vehicle. The rats were euthanized at days 7 and 28 after ICH, and brains were used for immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses. Magnetic resonance imaging (T2-weighted, T2* gradient-echo, and R2* mapping) sequences were performed at different time points.
Results: ICH-induced brain iron overload in the perihematomal area could be quantified by R2* mapping. Minocycline treatment reduced brain iron accumulation, T2* lesion volume, iron-handling protein upregulation, neuronal cell death, and neurological deficits (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Magnetic resonance imaging R2* mapping is a reliable and noninvasive method, which can quantitatively measure brain iron levels after ICH. Minocycline reduced ICH-related perihematomal iron accumulation and brain injury in aged rats.
Keywords: cerebral hemorrhage; iron; magnetic resonance imaging; minocycline; upregulation.
© 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.