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Purpose - Mammalian central nervous system axons fail to regenerate after injury. Contributing factors include limited intrinsic growth capacity and an inhibitory glial environment. Inflammation-induced optic nerve regeneration (IIR) is thought to boost retinal ganglion cell (RGC) intrinsic growth capacity through progrowth gene expression, but effects on the inhibitory glial environment of the optic nerve are unexplored. To investigate progrowth molecular changes associated with reactive gliosis during IIR, we developed an imaging mass spectrometry (IMS)-based approach that identifies discriminant molecular signals in and around optic nerve crush (ONC) sites.
Methods - ONC was performed in rats, and IIR was established by intravitreal injection of a yeast cell wall preparation. Optic nerves were collected at various postcrush intervals, and longitudinal sections were analyzed with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) IMS and data mining. Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy were used to compare discriminant molecular features with cellular features of reactive gliosis.
Results - IIR increased the area of the crush site that was occupied by a dense cellular infiltrate and mass spectral features consistent with lysosome-specific lipids. IIR also increased immunohistochemical labeling for microglia and macrophages. IIR enhanced clearance of lipid sulfatide myelin-associated inhibitors of axon growth and accumulation of simple GM3 gangliosides in a spatial distribution consistent with degradation of plasma membrane from degenerated axons.
Conclusions - IIR promotes a robust phagocytic response that improves clearance of myelin and axon debris. This growth-permissive molecular remodeling of the crush injury site extends our current understanding of IIR to include mechanisms extrinsic to the RGC.
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a potent neuromodulator capable of modifying patterns of acoustic information flow. In auditory cortex, cholinergic systems have been shown to increase salience/gain while suppressing extraneous information. However, the mechanism by which cholinergic circuits shape signal processing in the auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, MGB) is poorly understood. The present study, in male Fischer Brown Norway rats, seeks to determine the location and function of presynaptic neuronal nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) at the major inputs to MGB and characterize how nAChRs change during aging. electrophysiological/optogenetic methods were used to examine responses of MGB neurons after activation of nAChRs during a paired-pulse paradigm. Presynaptic nAChR activation increased responses evoked by stimulation of excitatory corticothalamic and inhibitory tectothalamic terminals. Conversely, nAChR activation appeared to have little effect on evoked responses from inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus and excitatory tectothalamic terminals. hybridization data showed nAChR subunit transcripts in GABAergic inferior colliculus neurons and glutamatergic auditory cortical neurons supporting the present slice findings. Responses to nAChR activation at excitatory corticothalamic and inhibitory tectothalamic inputs were diminished by aging. These findings suggest that cholinergic input to the MGB increases the strength of tectothalamic inhibitory projections, potentially improving the signal-to-noise ratio and signal detection while increasing corticothalamic gain, which may facilitate top-down identification of stimulus identity. These mechanisms appear to be affected negatively by aging, potentially diminishing speech perception in noisy environments. Cholinergic inputs to the MGB appear to maximize sensory processing by adjusting both top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in conditions of attention and arousal. The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus is the source of cholinergic innervation for sensory thalamus and is a critical part of an ascending arousal system that controls the firing mode of thalamic cells based on attentional demand. The present study describes the location and impact of aging on presynaptic neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) within the circuitry of the auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, MGB). We show that nAChRs are located on ascending inhibitory and descending excitatory presynaptic inputs onto MGB neurons, likely increasing gain selectively and improving temporal clarity. In addition, we show that aging has a deleterious effect on nAChR efficacy. Cholinergic dysfunction at the level of MGB may affect speech understanding negatively in the elderly population.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3711378-13$15.00/0.
PURPOSE - To detect, map, and quantify a novel nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE)-mediated magnetization transfer (MT) with water at approximately -1.6 ppm [NOE(-1.6)] in rat brain using MRI.
METHODS - Continuous wave MT sequences with a variety of radiofrequency irradiation powers were optimized to achieve the maximum contrast of this NOE(-1.6) effect at 9.4 T. The distribution of effect magnitudes, resonance frequency offsets, and line widths in healthy rat brains and the differences of the effect between tumors and contralateral normal brains were imaged and quantified using a multi-Lorentzian fitting method. MR measurements on reconstituted model phospholipids as well as two cell lines (HEK293 and 9L) were also performed to investigate the possible molecular origin of this NOE.
RESULTS - Our results suggest that the NOE(-1.6) effect can be detected reliably in rat brain. Pixel-wise fittings demonstrated the regional variations of the effect. Measurements in a rodent tumor model showed that the amplitude of NOE(-1.6) in brain tumor was significantly diminished compared with that in normal brain tissue. Measurements of reconstituted phospholipids suggest that this effect may originate from choline phospholipids.
CONCLUSION - NOE(-1.6) could be used as a new biomarker for the detection of brain tumor. Magn Reson Med 78:588-597, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
© 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
In addition to the loss in bone volume that occurs with age, there is a decline in material properties. To test new therapies or diagnostic tools that target such properties as material strength and toughness, a pre-clinical model of aging would be useful in which changes in bone are similar to those that occur with aging in humans. Toward that end, we hypothesized that similar to human bone, the estimated toughness and material strength of cortical bone at the apparent-level decreases with age in the male Fischer F344 rat. In addition, we tested whether the known decline in trabecular architecture in rats translated to an age-related decrease in vertebra (VB) strength and whether non-X-ray techniques could quantify tissue changes at micron and sub-micron length scales. Bones were harvested from 6-, 12-, and 24-month (mo.) old rats (n=12 per age). Despite a loss in trabecular bone with age, VB compressive strength was similar among the age groups. Similarly, whole-bone strength (peak force) in bending was maintained (femur) or increased (radius) with aging. There was though an age-related decrease in post-yield toughness (radius) and bending strength (femur). The ability to resist crack initiation was actually higher for the 12-mo. and 24-mo. than for 6-mo. rats (notch femur), but the estimated work to propagate the crack was less for the aged bone. For the femur diaphysis region, porosity increased while bound water decreased with age. For the radius diaphysis, there was an age-related increase in non-enzymatic and mature enzymatic collagen crosslinks. Raman spectroscopy analysis of embedded cross-sections of the tibia mid-shaft detected an increase in carbonate subsitution with advanced aging for both inner and outer tissue.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging may potentially detect mobile proteins/peptides non-invasively in vivo, but its specificity may be reduced by contamination from other confounding effects such as asymmetry of non-specific magnetization transfer (MT) effects and spin-lattice relaxation with rate R1 (=1/T1). Previously reported spillover, MT and R1 correction methods were based on a two-pool model, in which the existence of multiple water compartments with heterogeneous relaxation properties in real tissues was ignored. Such simple models may not adequately represent real tissues, and thus such corrections may be unreliable. The current study investigated the effectiveness and accuracy of correcting for R1 in APT imaging via simulations and in vivo experiments using tumor-bearing rats subjected to serial injections of Gd-DTPA that produced different tissue R1 values in regions of blood-brain-barrier breakdown. The results suggest that conventional measurements of APT contrast (such as APT* and MTRasym ) may be significantly contaminated by R1 variations, while the R1 -corrected metric AREX* was found to be relatively unaffected by R1 changes over a broad range (0.4-1 Hz). Our results confirm the importance of correcting for spin-lattice relaxation effects in quantitative APT imaging, and demonstrate the reliability of using the observed tissue R1 for corrections to obtain more specific and accurate measurements of APT contrast in vivo. The results also indicate that, due to relatively fast transcytolemmal water exchange, the influence of intra- and extracellular water compartments on CEST measurements with seconds long saturation time may be ignored in tumors.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
PURPOSE - The goal of this study was to investigate the influence of water compartmentation and heterogeneous relaxation properties on quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) imaging in tissues, and in particular whether a two-pool model is sufficient to describe qMT data in brain tumors.
METHODS - Computer simulations and in vivo experiments with a series of qMT measurements before and after injection of Gd-DTPA were performed. Both off-resonance pulsed saturation (pulsed) and on-resonance selective inversion recovery (SIR) qMT methods were used, and all data were fit with a two-pool model only.
RESULTS - Simulations indicated that a two-pool fitting of four-pool data yielded accurate measures of pool size ratio (PSR) of macromolecular versus free water protons when there were fast transcytolemmal exchange and slow R1 recovery. The fitted in vivo PSR of both pulsed and SIR qMT methods showed no dependence on R1 variations caused by different concentrations of Gd-DTPA during wash-out, whereas the fitted kex (magnetization transfer exchange rate) changed significantly with R1 .
CONCLUSION - A two-pool model provides reproducible estimates of PSR in brain tumors independent of relaxation properties in the presence of relatively fast transcytolemmal exchange, whereas estimates of kex are biased by relaxation variations. In addition, estimates of PSR in brain tumors using the pulsed and SIR qMT methods agree well with one another. Magn Reson Med 76:635-644, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
PURPOSE - In brain tumor dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC)-MRI studies, multiecho acquisition methods are used to quantify the dynamic changes in T1 and T2 * that occur when contrast agent (CA) extravasates. Such methods also enable the estimation of the effective tissue CA transverse relaxivity. The goal of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of the transverse relaxivity at tracer equilibrium (TRATE) to tumor cytoarchitecture.
METHODS - Computational and in vitro studies were used to evaluate the biophysical basis of TRATE. In 9L, C6, and human brain tumors, TRATE, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), the CA transfer constant (K(trans) ), the extravascular extracellular volume fraction (ve ), and histological data were compared.
RESULTS - Simulations and in vitro results indicate that TRATE is highly sensitive to variations in cellular properties such as cell size and density. The histologic cell density and TRATE values were significantly higher in 9L tumors as compared to C6 tumors. In animal and human tumors, a voxel-wise comparison of TRATE with ADC, ve , and K(trans) maps showed low spatial correlation.
CONCLUSION - The assessment of TRATE is clinically feasible and its sensitivity to tissue cytoarchitectural features not present in other imaging methods indicate that it could potentially serve as a unique structural signature or "trait" of cancer.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) provides an indirect means to detect exchangeable protons within tissues through their effects on the water signal. Previous studies have suggested that amide proton transfer (APT) imaging, a specific form of CEST, detects endogenous amide protons with a resonance frequency offset 3.5 ppm downfield from water, and thus may be sensitive to variations in mobile proteins/peptides in tumors. However, as CEST measurements are influenced by various confounding effects, such as spillover saturation, magnetization transfer (MT) and MT asymmetry, the mechanism or degree of increased APT signal in tumors is not certain. In addition to APT, nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) effects upfield from water may also provide distinct information on tissue composition. In the current study, APT, NOE and several other MR parameters were measured and compared comprehensively in order to elucidate the origins of APT and NOE contrasts in tumors at 9.4 T. In addition to conventional CEST methods, a new intrinsic inverse metric was applied to correct for relaxation and other effects. After corrections for spillover, MT and T1 effects, corrected APT in tumors was found not to be significantly different from that in normal tissues, but corrected NOE effects in tumors showed significant decreases compared with those in normal tissues. Biochemical measurements verified that there was no significant enhancement of protein contents in the tumors studied, consistent with the corrected APT measurements and previous literature, whereas quantitative MT data showed decreases in the fractions of immobile macromolecules in tumors. Our results may assist in the better understanding of the contrast depicted by CEST imaging in tumors, and in the development of improved APT and NOE measurements for cancer imaging.
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Urinary bladder cancer prevention studies were performed with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) naproxen (a standard NSAID with a good cardiovascular profile), sulindac, and their nitric oxide (NO) derivatives. In addition, the effects of the ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor, difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), alone or combined with a suboptimal dose of naproxen or sulindac was examined. Agents were evaluated at their human equivalent doses (HED), as well as at lower doses. In the hydroxybutyl(butyl)nitrosamine (OH-BBN) model of urinary bladder cancer, naproxen (400 or 75 ppm) and sulindac (400 ppm) reduced the incidence of large bladder cancers by 82%, 68%, and 44%, respectively, when the agents were initially given 3 months after the final dose of the carcinogen; microscopic cancers already existed. NO-naproxen was highly effective, whereas NO-sulindac was inactive. To further compare naproxen and NO-naproxen, we examined their effects on gene expression in rat livers following a 7-day exposure. Limited, but similar, gene expression changes in the liver were induced by both agents, implying that the primary effects of both are mediated by the parent NSAID. When agents were initiated 2 weeks after the last administration of OH-BBN, DFMO at 1,000 ppm had limited activity, a low dose of naproxen (75 ppm) and sulindac (150 ppm) were highly and marginally effective. Combining DFMO with suboptimal doses of naproxen had minimal effects, whereas the combination of DMFO and sulindac was more active than either agent alone. Thus, naproxen and NO-naproxen were highly effective, whereas sulindac was moderately effective in the OH-BBN model at their HEDs.
Magnetization transfer (MT) provides an indirect means to detect noninvasively variations in macromolecular contents in biological tissues, but, so far, there have been only a few quantitative MT (qMT) studies reported in cancer, all of which used off-resonance pulsed saturation methods. This article describes the first implementation of a different qMT approach, selective inversion recovery (SIR), for the characterization of tumor in vivo using a rodent glioma model. The SIR method is an on-resonance method capable of fitting qMT parameters and T1 relaxation time simultaneously without mapping B0 and B1 , which is very suitable for high-field qMT measurements because of the lower saturation absorption rate. The results show that the average pool size ratio (PSR, the macromolecular pool versus the free water pool) in rat 9 L glioma (5.7%) is significantly lower than that in normal rat gray matter (9.2%) and white matter (17.4%), which suggests that PSR is potentially a sensitive imaging biomarker for the assessment of brain tumor. Despite being less robust, the estimated MT exchange rates also show clear differences from normal tissues (19.7 Hz for tumors versus 14.8 and 10.2 Hz for gray and white mater, respectively). In addition, the influence of confounding effects, e.g. B1 inhomogeneity, on qMT parameter estimates is investigated with numerical simulations. These findings not only help to better understand the changes in the macromolecular contents of tumors, but are also important for the interpretation of other imaging contrasts, such as chemical exchange saturation transfer of tumors.
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.