Date: 04 Mar 2005

Voxel-based statistical analysis of cerebral glucose metabolism in the rat cortical deafness model by 3D reconstruction of brain from autoradiographic images

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Abstract

Purpose

Animal models of cortical deafness are essential for investigation of the cerebral glucose metabolism in congenital or prelingual deafness. Autoradiographic imaging is mainly used to assess the cerebral glucose metabolism in rodents. In this study, procedures for the 3D voxel-based statistical analysis of autoradiographic data were established to enable investigations of the within-modal and cross-modal plasticity through entire areas of the brain of sensory-deprived animals without lumping together heterogeneous subregions within each brain structure into a large region of interest.

Methods

Thirteen 2-[1-14C]-deoxy-D-glucose autoradiographic images were acquired from six deaf and seven age-matched normal rats (age 6–10 weeks). The deafness was induced by surgical ablation. For the 3D voxel-based statistical analysis, brain slices were extracted semiautomatically from the autoradiographic images, which contained the coronal sections of the brain, and were stacked into 3D volume data. Using principal axes matching and mutual information maximization algorithms, the adjacent coronal sections were co-registered using a rigid body transformation, and all sections were realigned to the first section. A study-specific template was composed and the realigned images were spatially normalized onto the template. Following count normalization, voxel-wise t tests were performed to reveal the areas with significant differences in cerebral glucose metabolism between the deaf and the control rats.

Results

Continuous and clear edges were detected in each image after registration between the coronal sections, and the internal and external landmarks extracted from the spatially normalized images were well matched, demonstrating the reliability of the spatial processing procedures. Voxel-wise t tests showed that the glucose metabolism in the bilateral auditory cortices of the deaf rats was significantly (P<0.001) lower than that in the controls. There was no significantly reduced metabolism in any other area, and no area showed a significant increase in metabolism in the deaf rats with the same threshold, demonstrating the high localization accuracy and specificity of the method developed in this study.

Conclusion

This study established new procedures for the 3D reconstruction and voxel-based analysis of autoradiographic data which will be useful for examining the cerebral glucose metabolism in a rat cortical deafness model.