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Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy enables cell-specific monitoring of astrocyte reactivity $in\ vivo$

Abstract : Reactive astrocytes exhibit hypertrophic morphology and altered metabolism. Deciphering astrocytic status would be of great importance to understand their role and dysregulation in pathologies, but most analytical methods remain highly invasive or destructive. The diffusion of brain metabolites, as non-invasively measured using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy (DW-MRS) $in\ vivo$, depends on the structure of their micro-environment. Here we perform advanced DW-MRS in a mouse model of reactive astrocytes to determine how cellular compartments confining metabolite diffusion are changing. This reveals myo-inositol as a specific intra-astrocytic marker whose diffusion closely reflects astrocytic morphology, enabling non-invasive detection of astrocyte hypertrophy (subsequently confirmed by confocal microscopy $ex\ vivo$). Furthermore, we measure massive variations of lactate diffusion properties, suggesting that intracellular lactate is predominantly astrocytic under control conditions, but predominantly neuronal in case of astrocyte reactivity. This indicates massive remodeling of lactate metabolism, as lactate compartmentation is tightly linked to the astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttle mechanism.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 3:25:24 PM
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Clémence Ligneul, Marco Palombo, Edwin Hernández-Garzón, Maria-Angeles Carrillo-de Sauvage, Julien Flament, et al.. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy enables cell-specific monitoring of astrocyte reactivity $in\ vivo$. NeuroImage, Elsevier, 2019, 191, pp.457-469. ⟨10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.046⟩. ⟨cea-02155405⟩

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