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Neuroimage. 2017 Aug 1;156:412-422. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.04.021. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

The separate effects of lipids and proteins on brain MRI contrast revealed through tissue clearing.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. Electronic address: cleuze@stanford.edu.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
4
Stanford Magnetic Resonance Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
5
Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

Despite the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, the relative contribution of different biological components (e.g. lipids and proteins) to structural MRI contrasts (e.g., T1, T2, T2*, proton density, diffusion) remains incompletely understood. This limitation can undermine the interpretation of clinical MRI and hinder the development of new contrast mechanisms. Here, we determine the respective contribution of lipids and proteins to MRI contrast by removing lipids and preserving proteins in mouse brains using CLARITY. We monitor the temporal dynamics of tissue clearance via NMR spectroscopy, protein assays and optical emission spectroscopy. MRI of cleared brain tissue showed: 1) minimal contrast on standard MRI sequences; 2) increased relaxation times; and 3) diffusion rates close to free water. We conclude that lipids, present in myelin and membranes, are a dominant source of MRI contrast in brain tissue.

PMID:
28411157
PMCID:
PMC5548623
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.04.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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