MR microscopy of transgenic mice that spontaneously acquire experimental allergic encephalomyelitis

Magn Reson Med. 1998 Jul;40(1):119-32. doi: 10.1002/mrm.1910400117.


Pathology of fixed spinal cords from transgenic mice with a myelin basic protein (MBP) specific T cell receptor was investigated. These mice spontaneously acquire the demyelinating disease experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). Several complementary imaging modalities, all on the same tissues, were used to visualize lesions; these included high-field (11.7-T) microscopic diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), T2*-weighted imaging, and optical microscopy on histological sections. Lesions were predominantly in white matter around meninges and vasculature and appeared hyperintense in anatomical images. DTIs showed reduced diffusion anisotropy in the same hyperintense regions, consistent with inflammation and edema. Histology in the same tissues exhibited the characteristic pathology of EAE. Two techniques for visualizing the effective diffusion tensor fields are presented, which display direction, organization, and integrity of neuronal fibers. It is shown that DTI offers intriguing possibilities for visualizing axonal organization and lesions within white matter.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / diagnosis*
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*