In Utero MRI of Mouse Embryos
Genetically engineered mouse models are used extensively as models of human development and developmental diseases. Conventional histological approaches are static and two-dimensional, and do not provide a full understanding of the dynamic, spatiotemporal changes in developing mouse embryos. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers a noninvasive and longitudinal approach for three-dimensional in utero imaging of normal and mutant mouse embryos. In this chapter, we describe MRI approaches that have been developed for imaging the living embryonic mouse brain and vasculature. Details are provided on the animal preparation and setup, MRI equipment, acquisition and reconstruction methods that have been found to be most useful for in utero MRI, including examples of applications to fetal mouse neuroimaging.
Key wordsDiffusion MRI Diffusion weighted gradient and spin echo (DW-GRASE) Field of excitation (FOE) Fractional anisotropy (FA) High-field MRI Mn-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) Phased array coil Three-dimensional (3D)
We thank all the people, current and past, in the Zhang, Wu and Turnbull labs who have contributed to developing the protocols described in this chapter. This research was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health: R01NS038461 and R01HL078665 (DHT); R01NS070909 and R01HD974593 (JZ); R21NS098018 (DW).
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