October 3, 2023

Brain Res. 2023 Sep 4:148562. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2023.148562. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: We present a cross-sectional, case-matched, and pair-wise comparison of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) measures in vivo and ex vivo in a mouse model of concussion, thus aiming to establish the concordance of structural and diffusion imaging findings in living brain and after fixation.

METHODS: We allocated 28 male mice aged 3-4 months to sham injury and concussion (CON) groups. CON mice had received a single concussive impact on day 0 and underwent MRI at day 2 (n=9) or 7 (n=10) post-impact, and sham control mice likewise underwent imaging at day 2 (n=5) or 7 (n=4). Immediately after the final scanning, we collected the perfusion-fixed brains, which were stored for imaging ex vivo 6-12 months later. We then compared the structural imaging, DTI, and NODDI results between different methods.

RESULTS: In vivo to ex vivo structural and DTI/NODDI findings were in notably poor agreement regarding the effects of concussion on structural integrity of the brain. Comparison with existing methods ex vivo imaging was frequently done to study the effects of diseases and treatments, but our results showed that ex vivo and in vivo imaging can detect completely opposite and contradictory results. This is also the first study that compares in vivo and ex vivo NODDI.

CONCLUSION: Our findings call for caution in extrapolating translational capabilities obtained ex vivo to physiological measurements in vivo. The divergent findings may reflect fixation artefacts and the contribution of the glymphatic system changes.

PMID:37673379 | DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2023.148562