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Magn Reson Med. 2002 Nov;48(5):852-9.

In vivo 3D MRI staining of mouse brain after subcutaneous application of MnCl2.

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Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany.


Follow-up T(1)-weighted 3D gradient-echo MRI (2.35 T) of murine brain in vivo (N = 5) at 120 microm isotropic resolution revealed spatially distinct signal increases 6-48 hr after subcutaneous application of MnCl(2) (20 mg/kg). The effects result from a shortening of the water proton T(1) relaxation time due to the presence of unchelated paramagnetic Mn(2+) ions, which access the brain by systemic circulation and crossing of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A pronounced Mn(2+)-induced signal enhancement was first seen in structures without a BBB, such as the choroid plexus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland. Within 24 hr after administration, Mn(2+) contrast highlighted the olfactory bulb, inferior colliculi, cerebellum, and the CA3 subfield of the hippocampus. The affinity of Mn(2+) to various brain systems suggests the neuronal uptake of Mn(2+) ions from the extracellular space and subsequent axonal transport. Thus, at least part of the Mn(2+) contrast reflects a functional brain response of behaving animals, for example, in the olfactory system. In vivo MRI staining of the brain by systemic administration of MnCl(2) may contribute to phenotyping mutant mice with morphologic and functional alterations of the central nervous system.

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