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PURPOSE - MR fingerprinting (MRF) sequences permit efficient T and T estimation in cranial and extracranial regions, but these areas may include substantial fat signals that bias T and T estimates. MRI fat signal fraction estimation is also a topic of active research in itself, but may be complicated by B heterogeneity and blurring during spiral k-space acquisitions, which are commonly used for MRF. An MRF method is proposed that separates fat and water signals, estimates water T and T, and accounts for B effects with spiral blurring correction, in a single sequence.
THEORY AND METHODS - A k-space-based fat-water separation method is further extended to unbalanced steady-state free precession MRF with swept echo time. Repeated application of this k-space fat-water separation to demodulated forms of the measured data allows a B map and correction to be approximated. The method is compared with MRF without fat separation across a broad range of fat signal fractions (FSFs), water Ts and Ts, and under heterogeneous static fields in simulations, phantoms, and in vivo.
RESULTS - The proposed method's FSF estimates had a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.990 with conventional measurements, and reduced biases in the T and T estimates due to fat signal relative to other MRF sequences by several hundred ms. The B correction improved the FSF, T, and T estimation compared to those estimates without correction.
CONCLUSION - The proposed method improves MRF water T and T estimation in the presence of fat and provides accurate FSF estimation with inline B correction.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A fiber optic probe-based Raman spectroscopy system using a single laser module with two excitation wavelengths, at 680 and 785 nm, has been developed for measuring the fingerprint and high wavenumber regions using a single detector. This system is simpler and less expensive than previously reported configurations of combined fingerprint and high wavenumber Raman systems, and its probe-based implementation facilitates numerous in vivo applications. The high wavenumber region of the Raman spectrum ranges from 2800-3800 cm-1 and contains valuable information corresponding to the molecular vibrations of proteins, lipids, and water, which is complimentary to the biochemical signatures found in the fingerprint region (800-1800 cm-1), which probes DNA, lipids, and proteins. The efficacy of the system is demonstrated by tracking changes in water content in tissue-mimicking phantoms, where Voigtian decomposition of the high wavenumber water peak revealed a correlation between the water content and type of water-tissue interactions in the samples. This dual wavelength system was then used for in vivo assessment of cervical remodeling during mouse pregnancy, a physiologic process with known changes in tissue hydration. The system shows that Raman spectroscopy is sensitive to changes in collagen content in the fingerprint region and hydration state in the high wavenumber region, which was verified using an ex vivo comparison of wet and dry weight. Simultaneous fingerprint and high wavenumber Raman spectroscopy will allow precise in vivo quantification of tissue water content in the high wavenumber region, paired with the high biochemical specificity of the fingerprint region.
As new techniques are developed to image adipose tissue, methods to validate such protocols are becoming increasingly important. Phantoms, experimental replicas of a tissue or organ of interest, provide a low cost, flexible solution. However, without access to expensive and specialized equipment, constructing stable phantoms with high fat fractions (e.g., >50% fat fraction levels such as those seen in brown adipose tissue) can be difficult due to the hydrophobic nature of lipids. This work presents a detailed, low cost protocol for creating 5x 100 mL phantoms with fat fractions of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% using basic lab supplies (hotplate, beakers, etc.) and easily accessible components (distilled water, agar, water-soluble surfactant, sodium benzoate, gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentacetate (DTPA) contrast agent, peanut oil, and oil-soluble surfactant). The protocol was designed to be flexible; it can be used to create phantoms with different fat fractions and a wide range of volumes. Phantoms created with this technique were evaluated in the feasibility study that compared the fat fraction values from fat-water magnetic resonance imaging to the target values in the constructed phantoms. This study yielded a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.998 (95% confidence interval: 0.972-1.00). In summary, these studies demonstrate the utility of fat phantoms for validating adipose tissue imaging techniques across a range of clinically relevant tissues and organs.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - While thinning of the cortices or trabeculae weakens bone, age-related changes in matrix composition also lower fracture resistance. This review summarizes how the organic matrix, mineral phase, and water compartments influence the mechanical behavior of bone, thereby identifying characteristics important to fracture risk.
RECENT FINDINGS - In the synthesis of the organic matrix, tropocollagen experiences various post-translational modifications that facilitate a highly organized fibril of collagen I with a preferred orientation giving bone extensibility and several toughening mechanisms. Being a ceramic, mineral is brittle but increases the strength of bone as its content within the organic matrix increases. With time, hydroxyapatite-like crystals experience carbonate substitutions, the consequence of which remains to be understood. Water participates in hydrogen bonding with organic matrix and in electrostatic attractions with mineral phase, thereby providing stability to collagen-mineral interface and ductility to bone. Clinical tools sensitive to age- and disease-related changes in matrix composition that the affect mechanical behavior of bone could potentially improve fracture risk assessment.
Aquaporins (AQPs), by playing essential roles in the maintenance of ocular lens homeostasis, contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the overall optical properties of the lens over many decades of life. Three aquaporins, AQP0, AQP1 and AQP5, each with distinctly different functional properties, are abundantly and differentially expressed in the different regions of the ocular lens. Furthermore, the diversity of AQP functionality is increased in the absence of protein turnover by age-related modifications to lens AQPs that are proposed to alter AQP function in the different regions of the lens. These regional differences in AQP functionality are proposed to contribute to the generation and directionality of the lens internal microcirculation; a system of circulating ionic and fluid fluxes that delivers nutrients to and removes wastes from the lens faster than could be achieved by passive diffusion alone. In this review, we present how regional differences in lens AQP isoforms potentially contribute to this microcirculation system by highlighting current areas of investigation and emphasizing areas where future work is required.
Although the functionality of the lens water channels aquaporin 1 (AQP1; epithelium) and AQP0 (fiber cells) is well established, less is known about the role of AQP5 in the lens. Since in other tissues AQP5 functions as a regulated water channel with a water permeability (P) some 20 times higher than AQP0, AQP5 could function to modulate P in lens fiber cells. To test this possibility, a fluorescence dye dilution assay was used to calculate the relative P of epithelial cells and fiber membrane vesicles isolated from either the mouse or rat lens, in the absence and presence of HgCl, an inhibitor of AQP1 and AQP5. Immunolabeling of lens sections and fiber membrane vesicles from mouse and rat lenses revealed differences in the subcellular distributions of AQP5 in the outer cortex between species, with AQP5 being predominantly membranous in the mouse but predominantly cytoplasmic in the rat. In contrast, AQP0 labeling was always membranous in both species. This species-specific heterogeneity in AQP5 membrane localization was mirrored in measurements of P, with only fiber membrane vesicles isolated from the mouse lens, exhibiting a significant Hg-sensitive contribution to P. When rat lenses were first organ cultured, immunolabeling revealed an insertion of AQP5 into cortical fiber cells, and a significant increase in Hg-sensitive P was detected in membrane vesicles. Our results show that AQP5 forms functional water channels in the rodent lens, and they suggest that dynamic membrane insertion of AQP5 may regulate water fluxes in the lens by modulating P in the outer cortex.
PURPOSE - To evaluate the magnitude of chemical exchange effects and R dispersion in muscle and their relationship to tissue sodium levels with aging.
METHODS - Seven healthy volunteers (aged 24 to 87years, median age 47) underwent MRI to assess tissue sodium levels and water T values at different spin-locking frequencies in calf muscles. T values at each locking field were computed based on a three-parameter mono-exponential model to fit signals obtained at different locking times, and R (=1/T) rates were compared at different locking fields. In particular, the dispersion of R (ΔR=R(0Hz)-R(500Hz)) was examined as a function of subject age. Muscle sodium content was calculated by comparing signal intensities between tissues and reference standards within the same image. The variations of ΔR with age and sodium were analyzed by linear regression.
RESULTS - T values and sodium content both increased with age. R dispersion also increased with age and showed a strong linear correlation (correlation coefficient r=0.98, P=0.000578) with sodium content.
CONCLUSION - ΔR reports on the contribution of labile protons such as hydroxyls which may be associated with macromolecule accumulation in the extracellular matrix (ECM). An increase of sodium signal suggests an enlarged ECM volume fraction and/or an increase in sodium concentration, which occurs during normal aging. The strong correlation between ΔR and sodium is likely the consequence of increased ECM and density of total charged sites within the matrix from molecules such as collagens and proteoglycans. The results from this study show the potential use of R dispersion and sodium imaging in the assessment of pathological changes in muscle such as fibrosis.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
During catalysis by liver alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), a water bound to the catalytic zinc is replaced by the oxygen of the substrates. The mechanism might involve a pentacoordinated zinc or a double-displacement reaction with participation by a nearby glutamate residue, as suggested by studies of human ADH3, yeast ADH1, and some other tetrameric ADHs. Zinc coordination and participation of water in the enzyme mechanism were investigated by X-ray crystallography. The apoenzyme and its complex with adenosine 5'-diphosphoribose have an open protein conformation with the catalytic zinc in one position, tetracoordinated by Cys-46, His-67, Cys-174, and a water molecule. The bidentate chelators 2,2'-bipyridine and 1,10-phenanthroline displace the water and form a pentacoordinated zinc. The enzyme-NADH complex has a closed conformation similar to that of ternary complexes with coenzyme and substrate analogues; the coordination of the catalytic zinc is similar to that found in the apoenzyme, except that a minor, alternative position for the catalytic zinc is ∼1.3 Å from the major position and closer to Glu-68, which could form the alternative coordination to the catalytic zinc. Complexes with NADH and N-1-methylhexylformamide or N-benzylformamide (or with NAD and fluoro alcohols) have the classical tetracoordinated zinc, and no water is bound to the zinc or the nicotinamide rings. The major forms of the enzyme in the mechanism have a tetracoordinated zinc, where the carboxylate group of Glu-68 could participate in the exchange of water and substrates on the zinc. Hydride transfer in the Michaelis complexes does not involve a nearby water.
PURPOSE - We aimed to identify non-invasive imaging parameters that can serve as biomarkers for the integrity of the spinal cord, which is paramount to neurological function. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices are sensitive to axonal and myelin damage, and have strong potential to serve as such biomarkers. However, averaging DTI indices over large regions of interest (ROIs), a common approach to analyzing the images of injured spinal cord, leads to loss of subject-specific information. We investigated if DTI-tractography-driven, subject-specific demarcation approach can yield measures that are more specific to impairment.
METHODS - In 18 individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), subject-specific demarcation of the injury region was performed using DTI tractography, which yielded three regions relative to injury (RRI; regions superior to, at, and below injury epicenter). DTI indices averaged over each RRI were correlated with measures of residual motor and sensory function, obtained using the International Standard of Neurological Classification for Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI).
RESULTS - Total ISNCSCI score (ISNCSCI-tot; sum of ISNCSCI motor and sensory scores) was significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with fractional anisotropy and axial and radial diffusivities. ISNCSCI-tot showed strongest correlation with indices measured from the region inferior to the injury epicenter (IRRI), the degree of which exceeded that of those measured from the entire cervical cord-suggesting contribution from Wallerian degeneration.
CONCLUSION - DTI tractography-driven, subject-specific injury demarcation approach provided measures that were more specific to impairment. Notably, DTI indices obtained from the IRRI region showed the highest specificity to impairment, demonstrating their strong potential as biomarkers for the SCI severity.
Natriuretic regulation of extracellular fluid volume homeostasis includes suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, pressure natriuresis, and reduced renal nerve activity, actions that concomitantly increase urinary Na+ excretion and lead to increased urine volume. The resulting natriuresis-driven diuretic water loss is assumed to control the extracellular volume. Here, we have demonstrated that urine concentration, and therefore regulation of water conservation, is an important control system for urine formation and extracellular volume homeostasis in mice and humans across various levels of salt intake. We observed that the renal concentration mechanism couples natriuresis with correspondent renal water reabsorption, limits natriuretic osmotic diuresis, and results in concurrent extracellular volume conservation and concentration of salt excreted into urine. This water-conserving mechanism of dietary salt excretion relies on urea transporter-driven urea recycling by the kidneys and on urea production by liver and skeletal muscle. The energy-intense nature of hepatic and extrahepatic urea osmolyte production for renal water conservation requires reprioritization of energy and substrate metabolism in liver and skeletal muscle, resulting in hepatic ketogenesis and glucocorticoid-driven muscle catabolism, which are prevented by increasing food intake. This natriuretic-ureotelic, water-conserving principle relies on metabolism-driven extracellular volume control and is regulated by concerted liver, muscle, and renal actions.