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Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Jan;24(1):27-31. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Compatibility of Gd-DTPA perfusion and histologic studies of the brain.

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Unit, National Institute on Aging, Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Histology, including immunohistochemistry, and magnetic resonance imaging microscopy (microMRI) are complementary techniques for the analysis of brain structure. Therefore, microMRI analysis, often of formalin-fixed tissue, precedes histologic evaluation of the same experimental animal in many studies. However, the application of gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA), while of value for MRI studies, has an unknown effect on subsequent histology. We demonstrate here that for the mouse brain, histology with Nissl staining and immunostaining for microtubule-associated protein 2, using standard techniques for tissue preparation, are unaffected by prior perfusion of the tissue with Gd-DTPA. This conclusion was based on qualitative morphologic comparisons of stained sections, as well as quantification of mean immunofluorescence pixel intensities from Gd-treated (mean+/-S.D.=131.2+/-28.4; n=3) as compared to nontreated specimens (116.2+/-34.7; n=3, P=.7). Therefore, Gd-DTPA may be applied as a microMRI contrast agent in formalin-fixed brain tissue prior to histologic studies.

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