Introduction: We explored the use of a perfluoro-15-crown-5 ether nanoemulsion (PFC) for measuring tissue oxygenation using a mouse model of vascular cognitive impairment.
Methods: Seventeen C57BL/6 mice underwent stereotactic injection of PFC coupled to a fluorophore into the striatum and corpus callosum. Combined 1H/19F magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to localize the PFC and R1 mapping to assess pO2 were performed. The effect of gas challenges on measured R1 was investigated. All mice then underwent bilateral implantation of microcoils around the common carotid arteries to induce global cerebral hypoperfusion. 19F-MRI and R1 mapping were performed 1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks after microcoil implantation. In vivo R1 values were converted to pO2 through in vitro calibration. Tissue reaction to the PFC was assessed through ex vivo immunohistochemistry of microglial infiltration.
Results: R1 increased with increasing oxygen concentrations both in vitro and in vivo and the strength of the 19F signal remained largely stable over 4 weeks. In the two mice that received all four scans, tissue pO2 decreased after microcoil implantation and recovered 4 weeks later. We observed infiltration of the PFC deposits by microglia.
Discussion: Despite remaining technical challenges, intracerebrally injected PFC is suitable for monitoring brain oxygenation in vivo.
Keywords: 19F-MRI; Oxygenation; Perfluoro-15-crown-5-ether; Vascular cognitive impairment.