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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Mar;65(3):796-801. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22666. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Effects of intracellular organelles on the apparent diffusion coefficient of water molecules in cultured human embryonic kidney cells.

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Institute of Imaging Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-2310, USA.


The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water in tissues is dependent on the size and spacing of structures in the cellular environment and has been used to characterize pathological changes in stroke and cancer. However, the factors that affect ADC values remain incompletely understood. Measurements of ADC are usually made using relatively long diffusion times; so they reflect the integrated effects of cellular structures over a broad range of spatial scales. We used temporal diffusion spectroscopy to study diffusion in packed cultured human embryonic kidney cells over a range of effective diffusion times following microtubule and actin/cytoskeleton depolymerization and disassembly of the Golgi complex. While Golgi disruption did not change ADC, depolymerization of the microtubule and the actin filament networks caused small decreases in ADC at short diffusion times only. Temporal diffusion spectroscopy provided a novel way to assess intracellular influences on the diffusion properties of tissue water.

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