QUEST MRI assessment of fetal brain oxidative stress in utero.
PURPOSE: To achieve sufficient precision of R1 (=1/T1) maps of the fetal brain in utero to perform QUEnch-assiSTed (QUEST) MRI in which a significant anti-oxidant-induced reduction in R1 indicates oxidative stress.
METHODS: C57BL/6 mouse fetuses in utero were gently and non-surgically isolated and secured using a homemade 3D printed clip. Using a commercial receive-only surface coil, brain maps of R1, an index sensitive to excessive and continuous free radical production, were collected using either a conventional Cartesian or a non-Cartesian (periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction) progressive saturation sequence. Data were normalized to the shortest TR time to remove bias. To assess oxidative stress, brain R1 maps were acquired on the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) model of preterm birth ± rosiglitazone (ROSI, which has anti-oxidant properties); phosphate buffered saline (PBS) controls ± ROSI were similarly studied.
RESULTS: Sufficient quality R1 maps were generated by a combination of the 3D printed clip, surface coil detection, non-Cartesian sequence, and normalization scheme ensuring minimal fetal movement, good detection sensitivity, reduced motion artifacts, and minimal baseline variations, respectively. In the LPS group, the combined caudate-putamen and thalamus region R1 was reduced (p < 0.05) with ROSI treatment consistent with brain oxidative stress; no evidence for oxidative stress was found in the pons region. In the PBS control group, brain R1's did not change with ROSI treatment.
CONCLUSION: The sensitivity and reproducibility of the combined approaches described herein enabled first-time demonstration of regional oxidative stress measurements of the fetal brain in utero using QUEST MRI.
Berkowitz BA, Romero R, Podolsky RH, Lins-Childers KM, Shen Y, Rosales T, Wadghiri YZ, Hoang DM, Arenas-Hernandez M, Garcia-Flores V, Schwenkel G, Panaitescu B, Gomez-Lopez N. QUEST MRI assessment of fetal brain oxidative stress in utero. Neuroimage. 2019 Oct 15;200:601-606. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.05.069. Epub 2019 May 31. PMID: 31158477; PMCID: PMC6703912.