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Magn Reson Med. 2012 Jan;67(1):251-7. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22991. Epub 2011 May 16.

In utero phenotyping of mouse embryonic vasculature with MRI.

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The Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


The vasculature is the earliest developing organ in mammals and its proper formation is critical for embryonic survival. MRI approaches have been used previously to analyze complex three-dimensional vascular patterns and defects in fixed mouse embryos. Extending vascular imaging to an in utero setting with potential for longitudinal studies would enable dynamic analysis of the vasculature in normal and genetically engineered mouse embryos, in vivo. In this study, we employed an in utero MRI approach that corrects for motion, using a combination of interleaved gated acquisition and serial coregistration of rapidly acquired three-dimensional images. We tested the potential of this method by acquiring and analyzing images from wildtype and Gli2 mutant embryos, demonstrating a number of Gli2 phenotypes in the brain and cerebral vasculature. These results show that in utero MRI can be used for in vivo phenotype analysis of a variety of mutant mouse embryos.

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