Generation and Disease Model Relevance of a Manganese Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based NOD/scid-IL-2Rγ c null Mouse Brain Atlas

Balasrinivasa R. Sajja, Aditya N. Bade, Biyun Zhou, Mariano G. Uberti, Santhi Gorantla, Howard E. Gendelman, Michael D. Boska, Yutong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Strain specific mouse brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) atlases provide coordinate space linked anatomical registration. This allows longitudinal quantitative analyses of neuroanatomical volumes and imaging metrics for assessing the role played by aging and disease to the central nervous system. As NOD/scid-IL-2Rγc null (NSG) mice allow human cell transplantation to study human disease, these animals are used to assess brain morphology. Manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI) improves contrasts amongst brain components and as such can greatly help identifying a broad number of structures on MRI. To this end, NSG adult mouse brains were imaged in vivo on a 7.0 Tesla MR scanner at an isotropic resolution of 100 μm. A population averaged brain of 19 mice was generated using an iterative alignment algorithm. MEMRI provided sufficient contrast permitting 41 brain structures to be manually labeled. Volumes of 7 humanized mice brain structures were measured by atlas-based segmentation and compared against non-humanized controls. The humanized NSG mice brain volumes were smaller than controls (p < 0.001). Many brain structures of humanized mice were significantly smaller than controls. We posit that the irradiation and cell grafting involved in the creation of humanized mice were responsible for the morphological differences. Six NSG mice without MnCl2 administration were scanned with high resolution T2-weighted MRI and segmented to test broad utility of the atlas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Atlas-based segmentation
  • In vivo mouse brain atlas
  • Mouse brain morphology
  • NSG mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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