Development of the fetal hippocampal formation has been difficult to fully describe because of rapid changes in its shape during the fetal period. The aims of this study were to: (1) segment the fetal hippocampal formation using 7.0 T MR images from 41 specimens with gestational ages ranging from 14 to 22 weeks and (2) reveal the developmental course of the fetal hippocampal formation using volume and shape analyses. Differences in hemispheric volume were observed, with the right hippocampi being larger than the left. Absolute volume changes showed a linear increase, while relative volume changes demonstrated an inverted-U shape trend during this period. Together these exhibited a variable developmental rate among different regions of the fetal brain. Different sub-regional growth of the fetal hippocampal formation was specifically observed using shape analysis. The fetal hippocampal formation possessed a prominent medial–lateral bidirectional shape growth pattern during its rotation process. Our results provide additional insight into 3D hippocampal morphology in the assessment of fetal brain development and can be used as a reference for future hippocampal studies.
High resolution MRI; Fetal brain development; Hippocampal formation; Shape analysis
Previous studies have indicated that the temporal change of relative diffusion weighted imaging (rDWI) signal intensity may help to determine the onset time of a stroke. Furthermore, several studies have indicated that high b value DWI offered improved detection rates for hyper-acute ischemic lesions compared with standard b value DWI. However, the temporal changes of the rDWI on high b value DWI remain unclear. Therefore, based on our embolic canine stroke model, we evaluated the temporal evolution of rDWI on high b value DWI, and further compared its diagnostic value in predicting the onset time of ischemic stroke with rDWI on standard b value DWI. Twelve canine MCAO models were established, and DWI was performed at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h after MCAO, with 3 b values of 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000. High b value DWI detected all ischemic lesions after 1 h, while standard b value did not detect the ischemic lesions in one dog at 1 h. With all three of the tested b values, rDWIs increased continuously within 6 h, while relative apparent diffusion coefficient (rADC) values rapidly decreased in 1 h, then became relatively stable. The area under the curve values for rDWI with b value of 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000, in predicting ischemic lesions within 3 h were 0.897, 0.929 and 0.938, while for rADC were 0.645, 0.583 and 0.599, respectively. Therefore, the results indicated that the rDWI was helpful in aging hyper-acute ischemic stroke, while rADC appeared not to be. High b value DWI had a higher detection rate for ischemic lesions and better predictive efficacy in determining the onset time of hyper-acute stroke.
cerebral ischemia; onset time; relative signal intensity; diffusion weighted imaging; high b value
Developing ultrasensitive contrast agents for the early detection of malignant tumors in liver is highly demanded. Constructing hepatic tumors specific targeting probes could provide more sensitive imaging information but still faces great challenges. Here we report a novel approach for the synthesis of ultra-small Fe3O4 nanoparticles conjugated with c(RGDyK) and their applications as active-target T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent (T1-Fe3O4) for imaging tiny hepatic tumors in vivo. RGD-modified T1-Fe3O4 nanoprobes exhibited high r1 of 7.74 mM-1s-1 and ultralow r2/r1 of 2.8 at 3 T, reflecting their excellent T1 contrast effect at clinically relevant magnetic field. High targeting specificity together with favorable biocompatibility and strong ability to resist against non-specific uptake were evaluated through in vitro studies. Owing to the outstanding properties of tumor angiogenesis targeting with little phagocytosis in liver parenchyma, hepatic tumor as small as 2.2 mm was successfully detected via the T1 contrast enhancement of RGD-modified T1-Fe3O4. It is emphasized that this is the first report on active-target T1 imaging of hepatic tumors, which could not only significantly improve diagnostic sensitivity, but also provide post therapeutic assessments for patients with liver cancer.
T1-Fe3O4 nanoprobes; RGD-modified; active-target; tiny hepatic tumor imaging; high diagnostic sensitivity
The purpose of this study was to examine the safety and clinical efficacy of computed tomography (CT)-guided radioactive iodine-125 (125I) seed implantation treatment in patients with spinal metastatic tumors.
We retrospectively analyzed 20 cases of spinal metastatic tumors, including nine men and eleven women aged 50–79 years (mean age: 61.1 years). We used treatment planning system (TPS) to construct three-dimensional images of the spinal metastatic tumors and to determine what number and dose rate distribution to use for the 125I seeds. The matched peripheral dose of the 125I seed implantation was 90–130 Gy. Twenty-four spinal metastatic tumors were treated by CT-guided radioactive 125I seed implantation. A median of 19 (range: 4–43) 125I seeds were implanted.
Twenty cases were followed for a median of 15.3 months (range: 7–32 months). The rate of pain relief was 95%. The median control time for all of the patients was 12.5 months. The 3-, 6-, and 12-month cumulative local control rates were 100%, 95%, and 60%, respectively. The median survival time for all of the patients was 16 months. The cumulative 6- and 12-month survival rates were 100% and 78.81%, respectively. No major complications were observed. No 125I seeds were lost or migrated to other tissues or organs.
CT-guided radioactive 125I seed implantation is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive method for the treatment of patients with spinal metastatic tumors. It is a possible alternative therapy for the treatment of spinal metastases.
spinal metastatic tumor; iodine isotopes; computed tomography guided; interventional treatment
receptor 4 and stromal-cell-derived factor 1 have been
found to be related to the initiation of neuroinflammation in ischemic
brain. Herein, we aimed to monitor the changes of neuorinflammation
after AMD3100 treatment using a translocator protein (TSPO) specific
PET tracer in a mouse model of stroke. The transient MCAO model was
established with Balb/C mice. The success of the model was confirmed
by magnetic resonance imaging and FDG PET. The treatment started the
same day after surgery via daily intraperitoneal injection of 1 mg
of AMD3100/kg for three consecutive days. [18F]DPA-714
was used as the TSPO imaging tracer. In vivo PET
was performed at different time points after surgery in both control
and treated mice. Ex vivo histological and immunofluorescence
staining of brain slices was performed to confirm the lesion site
and inflammatory cell activation. The TSPO level was also evaluated
using Western blotting. Longitudinal PET scans revealed that the level
of [18F]DPA-714 uptake was significantly increased in the
ischemic brain area with a peak accumulation at around day 10 after
surgery, and the level of uptake remained high until day 16. The in vivo PET data were consistent with those from ex vivo immunofluorescence staining. After AMD3100 treatment,
the signal intensity was significantly decreased compared with that
of normal saline-treated control group. In conclusion, TSPO-targeted
PET imaging using [18F]DPA-714 can be used to monitor inflammatory
response after stroke and provide a useful method for evaluating the
efficacy of anti-inflammation treatment.
stroke; AMD3100; translocator protein (TSPO); DPA-714; PET
To compare the biological effects of 125I seeds continuous low-dose-rate (CLDR) radiation and 60Co γ-ray high-dose-rate (HDR) radiation on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.
Materials and Methods
A549, H1299 and BEAS-2B cells were exposed to 125I seeds CLDR radiation or 60Co γ-ray HDR radiation. The survival fraction was determined using a colony-forming assay. The cell cycle progression and apoptosis were detected by flow cytometry (FCM). The expression of the apoptosis-related proteins caspase-3, cleaved-caspase-3, PARP, cleaved-PARP, BAX and Bcl-2 were detected by western blot assay.
After irradiation with 125I seeds CLDR radiation, there was a lower survival fraction, more pronounced cell cycle arrest (G1 arrest and G2/M arrest in A549 and H1299 cells, respectively) and a higher apoptotic ratio for A549 and H1299 cells than after 60Co γ-ray HDR radiation. Moreover, western blot assays revealed that 125I seeds CLDR radiation remarkably up-regulated the expression of Bax, cleaved-caspase-3 and cleaved-PARP proteins and down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 proteins in A549 and H1299 cells compared with 60Co γ-ray HDR radiation. However, there was little change in the apoptotic ratio and expression of apoptosis-related proteins in normal BEAS-2B cells receiving the same treatment.
125I seeds CLDR radiation led to remarkable growth inhibition of A549 and H1299 cells compared with 60Co HDR γ-ray radiation; A549 cells were the most sensitive to radiation, followed by H1299 cells. In contrast, normal BEAS-2B cells were relatively radio-resistant. The imbalance of the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and the activation of caspase-3 and PARP proteins might play a key role in the anti-proliferative effects induced by 125I seeds CLDR radiation, although other possibilities have not been excluded and will be investigated in future studies.
Inflammatory response in injured brain parenchyma after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is crucial to its pathologic process. In order to follow the microglia activation and neuroinflammation after TBI, herein, we performed PET imaging in a rat TBI model using 18F-labeled DPA-714, a ligand of 18 KDa translocator protein (TSPO).
TBI was induced in male SD rats by controlled cortical impact (CCI). The success of the TBI model was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Automated synthesis of [18F]DPA-714 was carried out using a slightly modified TRACERLab FX-FN module. In vivo PET imaging was performed at different time points after surgery by an Inveon small animal PET scanner. The specificity of [18F]DPA-714 was confirmed by displacement study with an unlabeled competitive TSPO ligand, PK11195. Ex vivo autoradiography as well as immunofluorescence staining was carried out to confirm the in vivo PET results.
Both in vivo T2-weighted MR images and ex vivo TTC staining results revealed successful establishment of the TBI model. Compared with the sham group, [18F]DPA-714 uptake was significantly higher in the injured brain area on PET images. Increased lesion-to-normal brain ratio of [18F]DPA-714 in TBI rats was observed at day 2 after surgery, peaked around day 6 (2.65 ± 0.36) and then decreased gradually to nearly normal level at day 28. Displacement study using PK11195 confirmed the specific binding of [18F]DPA-714 to TSPO. Ex vivo autoradiography was consistent with in vivo PET results. The immunofluorescence staining showed a time course of TSPO expression after TBI and the temporal and spatial distribution of microglia in damaged brain area.
TSPO targeted PET using [18F]DPA-714 as the imaging probe can be used to dynamically monitor inflammatory response after TBI in a non-invasive manner. This method will not only facilitate a better understanding of inflammation process after traumatic brain injury, but also provide a useful in vivo monitoring strategy for anti-inflammation therapy of TBI.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI); Translocator protein (TSPO); [18F]DPA-714; PET; molecular imaging
Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) - fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) mismatch was proven useful to time the onset of wake-up stroke; however, identifying the status of FLAIR imaging has been mostly subjective. We aimed to evaluate the value of relative DWI signal intensity (rDWI), and relative apparent diffusion coefficient (rADC) in identifying the FLAIR status in the acute period.
Autologous clot was used to embolize left middle cerebral artery in 20 dogs. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed 3–6 hours and 24 hours after embolization. DWI-FLAIR mismatch was defined as hyperintense signal detected on DWI, but not on FLAIR. The mean values of rDWI or rADC of FLAIR− and FLAIR+ lesions were compared and the critical cutoff values of rDWI and rADC for identifying the FLAIR status were determined.
Stroke models were successfully established in all animals. DWI+ lesions were found in all 20 dogs from three hours, while FLAIR+ lesions were found in three, 11, 16, 19, and 20 dogs at five time points after embolization, respectively. The mean rDWI values were significantly different between FLAIR− and FLAIR+ lesions (P < 0.001), but rADC values were not (P = 0.73). Using rDWI=1.90 as the threshold value, excellent diagnostic efficacy was achieved (AUC, 0.88; sensitivity, 0.77; specificity, 0.88). However, rADC appeared not useful (AUC, 0.48; sensitivity, 0.52; specificity, 0.58) in identifying the FLAIR status.
In our embolic canine stroke model, rDWI was useful to identify FLAIR imaging status in the acute period, while rADC was not.
Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity occurring during the early onset of stroke is not only a consequence of, but also contributes to the further progression of stroke. Although it has been well documented that brain microvascular endothelial cells and astrocytes play a critical role in the maintenance of BBB integrity, pericytes, sandwiched between endothelial cells and astrocytes, remain poorly studied in the pathogenesis of stroke. Our findings demonstrated that treatment of human brain microvascular pericytes with sodium cyanide (NaCN) and glucose deprivation resulted in increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) via the activation of tyrosine kinase Src, with downstream activation of mitogen activated protein kinase and PI3K/Akt pathways and subsequent translocation of NF-κB into the nucleus. Conditioned medium from NaCN-treated pericytes led to increased permeability of endothelial cells, and this effect was significantly inhibited by VEGF-neutralizing antibody. The in vivo relevance of these findings was further corroborated in the stroke model of mice wherein the mice, demonstrated disruption of the BBB integrity and concomitant increase in the expression of VEGF in the brain tissue as well as in the isolated microvessel. These findings thus suggest the role of pericyte-derived VEGF in modulating increased permeability of BBB during stroke. Understanding the regulation of VEGF expression could open new avenues for the development of potential therapeutic targets for stroke and other neurological disease.
Novel molecularly targeted agents that block the development and metastasis of human brain metastatic breast cancer hold great promise for their translational value. In this study, we constructed a novel targeting composite peptide BRBP1-TAT-KLA comprising of three elements: a brain metastatic breast carcinoma cell (231-BR)-binding peptide BRBP1, a cell penetrating peptide TAT, and a proapoptotic peptide KLA. This composite peptide efficiently internalized in 231-BR cells and consequently induced mitochondrial damage and cellular apoptosis. Exposure of 231-BR cells to BRBP1-TAT-KLA significantly decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis compared with the cells treated with the control peptides. In vivo relevance of these findings was further corroborated in the 231-BR tumor-bearing mice that demonstrated significantly delayed tumor development and metastasis following administration of BRBP1-TAT-KLA compared with those treated with TAT-KLA alone. Interestingly, BRBP1-TAT-KLA inhibited the formation of both large and micro-metastases, while TAT-KLA alone failed to significantly reduce micro-metastases in the breast cancer brain metastasis mice. BRBP1-TAT-KLA selectively homed to the tumors in vivo where it induced cellular apoptosis without significant toxicity on non-tumor tissues. Our findings therefore demonstrated the enhanced antitumor effects of the BRBP1 compound peptide BRBP1-TAT-KLA, providing insights toward development of a potential therapeutic strategy for brain metastatic breast cancer.
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of iodine-125 (125I) seeds on the proliferation of primary esophageal fibroblasts in dogs, and to assess the safety and preventive efficacy of 125I seed-pre-loaded esophageal stents in benign restenosis following implantation. Primary fibroblasts were cultured with various 125I seed activities, which were then evaluated using cell proliferation and apoptosis assays as well as cell cycle analysis using Annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) double staining and PI staining. Prior to sacrification, animals were submitted to esophageal radiography under digital subtraction angiography. Esophageal tissues were collected and examined for macroscopic, microscopic and pathological alterations. The results demonstrated a significant and dose-dependent inhibition of fibroblast proliferation and increased apoptosis following exposure to 125I seeds. G0/G1 fibroblast populations increased in a dose-dependent manner following treatment with 125I seeds, in contrast to cells in S phase. Four weeks following implantation, α-smooth muscle actin and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression levels in the experimental group were significantly lower compared with those in the control group; in addition, eight weeks following implantation, esophageal inner diameters were increased in the experimental group. 125I seeds inhibited proliferation of dog esophageal fibroblasts via cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In conclusion, 125I seed-pre-loaded esophageal stents inhibited benign hyperplasia in the upper edge of the stent to a certain extent, which relieved benign restenosis following implantation with a good safety profile.
iodine-125 seeds; fibroblasts; proliferation; esophageal stent; benign restenosis
This study constructs a rat brain T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging template including olfactory bulb and a compatible digital atlas. The atlas contains 624 carefully delineated brain structures based on the newest (2005) edition of rat brain atlas by Paxinos and Watson. An automated procedure, as an SPM toolbox, was introduced for spatially normalizing individual rat brains, conducting statistical analysis and visually localizing the results in the Atlas coordinate space. The brain template/atlas and the procedure were evaluated using functional images between rats with the right side middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and normal controls. The result shows that the brain region with significant signal decline in the MCAO rats was consistent with the occlusion position.
SD rat brain; MRI imaging analysis; SPM; normalization; location; co-registration
During the second trimester, the human fetal brain undergoes numerous changes that lead to substantial variation in the neonatal in terms of its morphology and tissue types. As fetal MRI is more and more widely used for studying the human brain development during this period, a spatiotemporal atlas becomes necessary for characterizing the dynamic structural changes. In this study, 34 postmortem human fetal brains with gestational ages ranging from 15 to 22 weeks were scanned using 7.0 T MR. We used automated morphometrics, tensor-based morphometry and surface modeling techniques to analyze the data. Spatiotemporal atlases of each week and the overall atlas covering the whole period with high resolution and contrast were created. These atlases were used for the analysis of age-specific shape changes during this period, including development of the cerebral wall, lateral ventricles, Sylvian fissure, and growth direction based on local surface measurements. Our findings indicate that growth of the subplate zone is especially striking and is the main cause for the lamination pattern changes. Changes in the cortex around Sylvian fissure demonstrate that cortical growth may be one of the mechanisms for gyration. Surface deformation mapping, revealed by local shape analysis, indicates that there is global anterior–posterior growth pattern, with frontal and temporal lobes developing relatively quickly during this period. Our results are valuable for understanding the normal brain development trajectories and anatomical characteristics. These week-by-week fetal brain atlases can be used as reference in in vivo studies, and may facilitate the quantification of fetal brain development across space and time.
Fetal MRI; Second-trimester; Atlas; Human brain development
Mural inflammation has been shown to contribute to the development of plaque, with the αVβ3 integrin highly expressed in atherosclerotic plaques. We herein examined αVβ3 integrin expression as a function of carotid atherosclerosis formation in the apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE−/−) mouse.
Methods and results
Constrictive collars were placed around the left common carotid arteries of apo E−/− mice maintained on a high-fat diet (n = 14). Before and 21 days following collar placement, in vivo serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of the carotid aortic diameter were performed using a 7T magnetic resonance (MR) scanner. Near- infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging was performed (n = 6) using an in vivo imaging system 0–24 hours following administration of 1.0 nmol c(RGDyK)-Cy5.5 via the tail vein. A competition experiment was performed by the co-injection of a saturating dose of bicyclic RGD peptide H-Glu[cyclo(Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Tyr-Lys)]2 (n = 3). Following image acquisition and sacrifice at 24 hours after injection, carotid arteries were harvested for histological analyses. Neointima formation and arterial remodeling in the carotid arteries of apoE−/− mice were induced by the placement of a constrictive collar. Significantly greater fluorescent signals were obtained from constrictive collar left common carotid arteries as compared to uninvolved aortic segments in constrictive collar mice. Binding to stenotic lesions was efficiently blocked in competition experiments. Immunostaining confirmed the presence of mural αVβ3 integrin expression in macrophages in the neointima. Signal intensity increased in a macrophage density-dependent fashion in the stenotic segments.
Mural αVβ3 integrin expression, as determined using RGD-Cy5.5 near-infrared optical imaging, was increased in carotid arteries with constrictive collars in experimental mice. This expression can estimate the macrophage-bound inflammatory activity of atherosclerotic lesions.
near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF); macrophage; αVβ3 integrin; carotid atherogenesis
To investigate the effect of ferritin protein overexpression on superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particle labeling of C6 rat glioma cells, and track the labeled cells in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and Methods
A plasmid of H-chain of murine ferritin gene was constructed and transfected into C6 cells. The parental and the transfected C6 cells labeled with SPIO were bilaterally inoculated subcutaneously into nude mice. The mice were imaged by multiple T2-weighted MR scans after C6 cell inoculation. The mice were killed 2 weeks later, and the concentration of iron in the tumor tissue was measured by inductively coupled plasma.
The iron concentration in xenografts derived from SPIO-labeled C6 cells that were transfected with ferritin plasmid was significantly higher than that in xenografts from parental C6 cells that were labeled with SPIO but not transfected (p=0.034, N=5). Ferritin-transfected C6 cells showed an improved T2 contrast in vivo compared with parental cells labeled with SPIO but not transfected.
Coordinating ferritin with SPIO can lead to a longer MRI cellular tracking period.
Ferritin reporter; Superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particle; Cell tracking; MRI
It is generally accepted that cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, are affected in depression. The present study used a rat model of depression, chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), to determine whether hippocampal volume and neurochemical changes were involved in learning and memory alterations. A further aim was to determine whether these effects could be ameliorated by escitalopram treatment, as assessed with the non-invasive techniques of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Our results demonstrated that CUMS had a dramatic influence on spatial cognitive performance in the Morris water maze task, and CUMS reduced the concentration of neuronal marker N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in the hippocampus. These effects could be significantly reversed by repeated administration of escitalopram. However, neither chronic stress nor escitalopram treatment influenced hippocampal volume. Of note, the learning and memory alterations of the rats were associated with right hippocampal NAA concentration. Our results indicate that in depression, NAA may be a more sensitive measure of cognitive function than hippocampal volume.
Labeling of cells with nanoparticles for living detection is of interest to various biomedical applications. In this study, novel fluorescent/magnetic nanoparticles were prepared and used in high-efficient cellular imaging. The nanoparticles coated with the modified chitosan possessed a magnetic oxide core and a covalently attached fluorescent dye. We evaluated the feasibility and efficiency in labeling cancer cells (SMMC-7721) with the nanoparticles. The nanoparticles exhibited a high affinity to cells, which was demonstrated by flow cytometry and magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that cell-labeling efficiency of the nanoparticles was dependent on the incubation time and nanoparticles’ concentration. The minimum detected number of labeled cells was around 104 by using a clinical 1.5-T MRI imager. Fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy instruments were used to monitor the localization patterns of the magnetic nanoparticles in cells. These new magneto-fluorescent nanoagents have demonstrated the potential for future medical use.
Magnetic nanoparticle; Fluorescence; Chitosan; Magnetic resonance imaging
Labeling of cells with nanoparticles for living detection is of interest to various biomedical applications. In this study, novel fluorescent/magnetic nanoparticles were prepared and used in high-efficient cellular imaging. The nanoparticles coated with the modified chitosan possessed a magnetic oxide core and a covalently attached fluorescent dye. We evaluated the feasibility and efficiency in labeling cancer cells (SMMC-7721) with the nanoparticles. The nanoparticles exhibited a high affinity to cells, which was demonstrated by flow cytometry and magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that cell-labeling efficiency of the nanoparticles was dependent on the incubation time and nanoparticles’ concentration. The minimum detected number of labeled cells was around 104by using a clinical 1.5-T MRI imager. Fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy instruments were used to monitor the localization patterns of the magnetic nanoparticles in cells. These new magneto-fluorescent nanoagents have demonstrated the potential for future medical use.
Magnetic nanoparticle; Fluorescence; Chitosan; Magnetic resonance imaging