Morphologic and functional changes in the unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesion rat model for Parkinson’s disease discerned with μSPECT and quantitative MRI
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In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the impact of neurodegeneration of the nigrostriatal tract in a rodent model of Parkinson’s disease on the different MR contrasts (T2, T1, CBF and CBV) measured in the striatum.
Material and methods
Animals were injected with 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA) in the substantia nigra resulting in massive loss of nigrostriatal neurons and hence dopamine depletion in the ipsilateral striatum. Using 7T MRI imaging, we have quantified T2, T1, CBF and CBV in the striata of 6OHDA and control rats. To validate the lesion size, behavioral testing, dopamine transporter μSPECT and tyrosine hydroxylase staining were performed.
No significant differences were demonstrated in the absolute MRI values between 6OHDA animals and controls; however, 6OHDA animals showed significant striatal asymmetry for all MRI parameters in contrast to controls.
These PD-related asymmetry ratios might be the result of counteracting changes in both intact and affected striatum and allowed us to diagnose PD lesions. As lateralization is known to occur also in PD patients and might be expected in transgenic PD models as well, we propose that MR-derived asymmetry ratios in the striatum might be a useful tool for in vivo phenotyping of animal models of PD.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Rat Neurodegeneration SPECT MRI
Cerebral blood flow
Cerebral blood volume
Field of view
Region of interest
Volume of interest
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