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Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Mar;218(2):527-37. doi: 10.1007/s00429-012-0413-6. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Mapping of the mouse olfactory system with manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


As the power of studying mouse genetics and behavior advances, research tools to examine systems level connectivity in the mouse are critically needed. In this study, we compared statistical mapping of the olfactory system in adult mice using manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with probabilistic tractography. The primary goal was to determine whether these complementary techniques can determine mouse olfactory bulb (OB) connectivity consistent with known anatomical connections. For MEMRI, 3D T1-weighted images were acquired before and after bilateral nasal administration of MnCl(2) solution. Concomitantly, high-resolution diffusion-tensor images were obtained ex vivo from a second group of mice and processed with a probabilistic tractography algorithm originating in the OB. Incidence maps were created by co-registering and overlaying data from the two scan modalities. The resulting maps clearly show pathways between the OB and amygdala, piriform cortex, caudate putamen, and olfactory cortex in both the DTI and MEMRI techniques that are consistent with the known anatomical connections. These data demonstrate that MEMRI and DTI are complementary, high-resolution neuroimaging tools that can be applied to mouse genetic models of olfactory and limbic system connectivity.

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