Alterations of white matter tracts following neurotoxic hippocampal lesions in macaque monkeys: a diffusion tensor imaging study.
ABSTRACT: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a valuable tool for assessing presumptive white matter alterations in human disease and animal models. The current study used DTI to examine the effects of selective neurotoxic lesions of the hippocampus on major white matter tracts and anatomically related brain regions in macaque monkeys. Two years postlesion, structural MRI, and DTI sequences were acquired for each subject. Volumetric assessment revealed a substantial reduction in the size of the hippocampus in experimental subjects, averaging 72% relative to controls, without apparent damage to adjacent regions. DTI images were processed to yield measures of fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), parallel diffusivity (lADC), and perpendicular diffusivity (tADC), as well as directional color maps. To evaluate potential changes in major projection systems, a region of interest (ROI) analysis was conducted including the corpus callosum, fornix, temporal stem, cingulum bundle, ventromedial prefrontal white matter, and optic radiations. Lesion-related abnormalities in the integrity of the fiber tracts examined were limited to known hippocampal circuitry, including the fornix and ventromedial prefrontal white matter. These findings are consistent with the notion that hippocampal damage results in altered interactions with multiple memory-related brain regions, including portions of the prefrontal cortex.
Project description:Neuropsychological and brain imaging studies have demonstrated persistent deficits in memory functions and structural changes after neonatal neurotoxic hippocampal lesion in monkeys. However, the relevant microstructural changes in the white matter of affected brain regions following this early insult remain unknown. This study assessed white matter integrity in the main hippocampal projections of adult macaque monkeys with neonatal hippocampal lesions, using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Data analysis was performed using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and compared with volume of interest statistics. Alterations of fractional anisotropy (FA) and diffusivity indices were observed in fornix, temporal stem, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and optical radiations. To further validate the lesion effects on the prefrontal cortex, probabilistic diffusion tractography was used to examine the integrity of the fiber connections between hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and alterations were found in these connections. In addition, increased radial diffusivity in the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex correlated negatively with the severity of deficits in working memory in the same monkeys. The findings revealed microstructural changes due to neonatal hippocampal lesion, and confirmed that neonatal neurotoxic hippocampal lesions resulted in significant and enduring functional alterations in the hippocampal projection system.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Regional differences in sensitivity to white matter damage after brain radiotherapy (RT) are not well-described. We characterized the spatial heterogeneity of dose-response across white matter tracts using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). MATERIALS AND METHODS:Forty-nine patients with primary brain tumors underwent MRI with DTI before and 9-12months after partial-brain RT. Maps of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) were generated. Atlas-based white matter tracts were identified. A secondary analysis using skeletonized tracts was also performed. Linear mixed-model analysis of the relationship between mean and max dose and percent change in DTI metrics was performed. RESULTS:Tracts with the strongest correlation of FA change with mean dose were the fornix (-0.46 percent/Gy), cingulum bundle (-0.44 percent/Gy), and body of corpus callosum (-0.23 percent/Gy), p<.001. These tracts also showed dose-sensitive changes in MD and RD. In the skeletonized analysis, the fornix and cingulum bundle remained highly dose-sensitive. Maximum and mean dose were similarly predictive of DTI change. CONCLUSIONS:The corpus callosum, cingulum bundle, and fornix show the most prominent dose-dependent changes following RT. Future studies examining correlation with cognitive functioning and potential avoidance of critical white matter regions are warranted.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is generally considered to be characterized by pathology in gray matter of the brain, but convergent evidence suggests that white matter degradation also plays a vital role in its pathogenesis. The evolution of white matter deterioration and its relationship with gray matter atrophy remains elusive in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), a prodromal stage of AD.We studied 155 cognitively normal (CN) and 27 'late' aMCI individuals with stable diagnosis over 2 years, and 39 'early' aMCI individuals who had converted from CN to aMCI at 2-year follow up. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to reconstruct six white matter tracts three limbic tracts critical for episodic memory function - the fornix, the parahippocampal cingulum, and the uncinate fasciculus; two cortico-cortical association fiber tracts - superior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior longitudinal fasciculus; and one projection fiber tract - corticospinal tract. Microstructural integrity as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AxD) was assessed for these tracts.Compared with CN, late aMCI had lower white matter integrity in the fornix, the parahippocampal cingulum, and the uncinate fasciculus, while early aMCI showed white matter damage in the fornix. In addition, fornical measures were correlated with hippocampal atrophy in late aMCI, whereas abnormality of the fornix in early aMCI occurred in the absence of hippocampal atrophy and did not correlate with hippocampal volumes.Limbic white matter tracts are preferentially affected in the early stages of cognitive dysfunction. Microstructural degradation of the fornix preceding hippocampal atrophy may serve as a novel imaging marker for aMCI at an early stage.
Project description:The fornix and parahippocampal cingulum are 2 major limbic tracts in the core memory network of the hippocampus. Although these fiber tracts are known to degrade with Alzheimer's disease (AD), little is known about their vulnerability in the asymptomatic phase of AD. In this longitudinal study of cognitively normal adults, we assessed amyloid-beta (A?) plaques using positron emission tomography and white matter microstructure using diffusion tensor imaging. We found that an increase of neocortical A? burden over time was associated with an increase of radial diffusivity in the fornix but not in the parahippocampal cingulum. The effect of increasing neocortical A? burden on the fornix remained significant after controlling for baseline measures, head motion, global brain atrophy, regional A? burden in the hippocampus, or microstructural changes in the global white matter. In addition, microstructural changes in the fornix were not associated with decline of episodic memory or other cognitive abilities. Our findings suggest that microstructural changes in the fornix may be an early sign in the asymptomatic phase of AD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Diffuse traumatic brain injury (TBI) is known to lead to microstructural changes within both white and grey matter detected in vivo with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Numerous studies have shown alterations in fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) within prominent white matter tracts, but few have linked these to changes within the grey matter with confirmation via histological assessment. This is especially important as alterations in the grey matter may be predictive of long-term functional deficits. METHODS:A total of 33 male Sprague Dawley rats underwent severe closed-head TBI. Eight animals underwent tensor-based morphometry (TBM) and DTI at baseline (pre-TBI), 24 hours (24 h), 7, 14, and 30 days post-TBI. Immunohistochemical analysis for the detection of ionised calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA1) to assess microglia number and percentage of activated cells, ?-amyloid precursor protein (APP) as a marker of axonal injury, and myelin basic protein (MBP) to investigate myelination was performed at each time-point. RESULTS:DTI showed significant alterations in FA and RD in numerous white matter tracts including the corpus callosum, internal and external capsule, and optic tract and in the grey-matter in the cortex, thalamus, and hippocampus, with the most significant effects observed at 14 D post-TBI. TBM confirmed volumetric changes within the hippocampus and thalamus. Changes in DTI were in line with significant axonal injury noted at 24 h post-injury via immunohistochemical analysis of APP, with widespread microglial activation seen within prominent white matter tracts and the grey matter, which persisted to 30 D within the hippocampus and thalamus. Microstructural alterations in MBP+ve fibres were also noted within the hippocampus and thalamus, as well as the cortex. CONCLUSION:This study confirms the widespread effects of diffuse TBI on white matter tracts which could be detected via DTI and extends these findings to key grey matter regions, with a comprehensive investigation of the whole brain. In particular, the hippocampus and thalamus appear to be vulnerable to ongoing pathology post-TBI, with DTI able to detect these alterations supporting the clinical utility in evaluating these regions post-TBI.
Project description:The prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus are important components of the neural network that mediates the healthy learning, expression, and regulation of emotion. These brain regions are connected by white matter pathways that include the cingulum bundle, uncinate fasciculus, and fornix/stria terminalis. Individuals with trauma and stress-related disorders show dysfunction of the cognitive-affective processes supported by the brain regions these white matter tracts connect. Therefore, variability in the microstructure of these white matter pathways may play an important role in the cognitive-affective dysfunction related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, the current study used diffusion weighted imaging to assess the white matter microstructure of the cingulum bundle, uncinate fasciculus, and fornix/stria terminalis acutely (< 1 month) following trauma. Further, we assessed both acute (i.e., < 1 month) and subacute (i.e., 3 months post-trauma) post-traumatic stress symptom severity. White matter microstructure (assessed < 1 month post-trauma) of the uncinate fasciculus and fornix/stria terminalis varied with acute post-traumatic stress severity (assessed < 1 month post-trauma). Further, white matter microstructure (assessed < 1 month post-trauma) of the cingulum bundle and fornix/stria terminalis varied with subacute post-traumatic stress severity (assessed 3 months post-trauma). The current results suggest white matter architecture of the prefrontal cortex - amygdala network plays an important role in the development of trauma and stress-related disorders.
Project description:The cat brain is a useful model for neuroscientific research and with the increasing use of advanced neuroimaging techniques there is a need for an open-source stereotaxic white matter brain atlas to accompany the cortical gray matter atlas, currently available. A stereotaxic white matter atlas would facilitate anatomic registration and segmentation of the white matter to aid in lesion localization or standardized regional analysis of specific regions of the white matter. In this article, we document the creation of a stereotaxic feline white matter atlas from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data obtained from a population of eight mesaticephalic felines. Deterministic tractography reconstructions were performed to create tract priors for the major white matter projections of Corpus callosum (CC), fornix, cingulum, uncinate, Corona Radiata (CR), Corticospinal tract (CST), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (SLF), and the cerebellar tracts. T1-weighted, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD) population maps were generated. The volume, mean tract length and mean FA, MD, AD and RD values for each tract prior were documented. A structural connectome was then created using previously published cortical priors and the connectivity metrics for all cortical regions documented. The provided white matter atlas, diffusivity maps, tract priors and connectome will be a valuable resource for anatomical, pathological and translational neuroimaging research in the feline model. Multi-atlas population maps and segmentation priors are available at Cornell's digital repository: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/58775.2.
Project description:There is little known about how brain white matter structures differ in their response to radiation, which may have implications for radiation-induced neurocognitive impairment. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine regional variation in white matter changes following chemoradiotherapy.Fourteen patients receiving two or three weeks of whole-brain radiation therapy (RT) ± chemotherapy underwent DTI pre-RT, at end-RT, and one month post-RT. Three diffusion indices were measured: fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD). We determined significant individual voxel changes of diffusion indices using tract-based spatial statistics, and mean changes of the indices within fourteen white matter structures of interest.Voxels of significant FA decreases and RD increases were seen in all structures (p<0.05), with the largest changes (20-50%) in the fornix, cingula, and corpus callosum. There were highly significant between-structure differences in pre-RT to end-RT mean FA changes (p<0.001). The inferior cingula had a mean FA decrease from pre-RT to end-RT significantly greater than 11 of the 13 other structures (p<0.00385).Brain white matter structures varied greatly in their response to chemoradiotherapy as measured by DTI changes. Changes in FA and RD related to white matter demyelination were prominent in the cingula and fornix, structures relevant to radiation-induced neurocognitive impairment. Future research should evaluate DTI as a predictive biomarker of brain chemoradiotherapy adverse effects.
Project description:This study utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to analyze white matter tractography in the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC), fornix, and uncinate fasciculus (UF) of individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and controls. Aberrations in these tracts have been previously associated with schizophrenia. With up to 25% of individuals with 22q11.2DS developing schizophrenia in adulthood, we hypothesized reduction in structural integrity of these tracts, including an association with prodromal symptoms of psychosis. We further predicted an association between allelic variation in a functional polymorphism of the Nogo-66 receptor gene and 22q11.2DS white matter integrity.Tractography was conducted using fiber assignment by streamline tracking algorithm in DTI Studio. Subjects were genotyped for the rs701428 SNP of the Nogo-66 receptor gene, and assessed for presence of prodromal symptoms.We found significant group differences between 22q11.2DS and controls in DTI metrics for all three tracts. DTI metrics of ALIC and UF were associated with prodromal symptoms in 22q11.2DS. Further, ALIC DTI metrics were associated with allelic variation of the rs701428 SNP of the Nogo-66 receptor gene in 22q11.2DS.Alterations in DTI metrics suggest white matter microstructural anomalies of the ALIC, fornix, and UF in 22q11.2DS. Structural differences in ALIC appear to be associated with the Nogo-66 receptor gene, which has been linked to myelin-mediated axonal growth inhibition. Moreover, the association between psychosis symptoms and ALIC and UF metrics suggests that the Nogo-66 receptor gene may represent a susceptibility gene for psychosis through its disruption of white matter microstructure and myelin-associated axonal growth.
Project description:Recent functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have suggested atypical functional connectivity and reduced integrity of long-distance white matter fibers in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, evidence for short-distance white matter fibers is still limited, despite some speculation of potential sparing of local connectivity in ASD. Short-distance U-fibers are an important component of neural networks and are thought to play a crucial role in cognitive function. In the present study, we applied tract-based spatial statistics to derive short- and long-distance white matter tracts in frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes in both hemispheres. DTI data were acquired from 26 children with ASD and 24 typically developing (TD) children. A mean fractional anisotropy (FA) image was created and thinned to represent centers of all common tracts. Evidence of compromised short-distance tracts for the ASD group was found in frontal lobe (reduced FA, increased mean diffusivity [MD] and radial diffusivity) as well as in temporal and parietal lobes (increased MD and radial diffusivity). Significant positive correlations between age and FA and negative correlations between age and MD and radial diffusivity were also found for short-distance tracts in each lobe in the TD, but not the ASD group. These results suggest white matter compromise in short-distance tracts in ASD. Absence of typical age-related correlations with DTI indices may reflect altered maturation of short-distance tracts in ASD. Our results are inconsistent with a notion of selective sparing of short-distance connectivity in ASD.