Detection of endogenous iron deposits in the injured mouse spinal cord through high-resolution ex vivo and in vivo MRI

  • Blomster L
  • Cowin G
  • Kurniawan N
 et al. 
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The main aim of this study was to employ high-resolution MRI to investigate the spatiotemporal development of pathological features associated with contusive spinal cord injury (SCI) in mice. Experimental mice were subjected to either sham surgery or moderate contusive SCI. A 16.4-T small-animal MR system was employed for nondestructive imaging of post-mortem, fixed spinal cord specimens at the subacute (7 days) and more chronic (28-35 days) stages post-injury. Routine histological techniques were used for subsequent investigation of the observed neuropathology at the microscopic level. The central core of the lesion appeared as a dark hypo-intense area on MR images at all time points investigated. Small focal hypo-intense spots were also observed spreading through the dorsal funiculi proximal and distal to the site of impact, an area that is known to undergo gliosis and Wallerian degeneration in response to injury. Histological examination revealed these hypo-intense spots to be high in iron content as determined by Prussian blue staining. Quantitative image analysis confirmed the increased presence of iron deposits at all post-injury time points investigated (p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Astrogliosis
  • Haemorrhage
  • Neural scar
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurotrauma
  • Oxidative stress
  • Secondary injury

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  • Linda V. Blomster

  • Gary J. Cowin

  • Nyoman D. Kurniawan

  • Marc J. Ruitenberg

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