The recently developed oscillating-gradient diffusion MRI (OG-dMRI) technique extends our ability to examine brain structures at different spatial scales. In this study, we investigated the sensitivity of OG-dMRI in detecting cellular and subcellular structural changes in a mouse model of neonatal hypoxia ischemia (HI). Neonatal mice received unilateral HI injury or sham injury at postnatal day 10, followed by in vivo T2-weighted and diffusion MRI of the brains at 3–6 h and 24 h after HI. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were acquired using conventional pulsed-gradient dMRI (PG-dMRI) and OG-dMRI with oscillating frequencies from 50 to 200 Hz. Pathology at cellular and subcellular levels was evaluated using neuronal, glial, and mitochondrial markers. We found significantly higher rates of ADC increase with oscillating frequencies (Δ f ADC) in the ipsilateral edema region, compared to the contralateral side, starting as early as 3 h after HI. Even in injured regions that showed no apparent change in PG-ADC or pseudo-normalized PG-ADC measurements, Δ f ADC remained significantly elevated. Histopathology showed swelling of sub-cellular structures in these regions with no apparent whole-cell level change. These results suggest that OG-dMRI is sensitive to subcellular structural changes in the brain after HI and is less susceptible to pseudo-normalization than PG-dMRI.
- neonatal hypoxia-ischemia
- Oscillating-gradient diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
- subcellular structural change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine