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Characterizing extracellular diffusion properties using diffusion‐weighted MRS of sucrose injected in mouse brain

Mélissa Vincent 1, 2 Mylène Gaudin 1, 2 Covadonga Lucas‐torres 3 Alan Wong 3 Carole Escartin 1, 2 Julien Valette 1, 2, *
* Corresponding author
2 LMN - Laboratoire des Maladies Neurodégénératives - UMR 9199
MIRCEN - Service MIRCEN : DRF/JACOB, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR 9199
3 LSDRM - Laboratoire Structure et Dynamique par Résonance Magnétique (LCF)
NIMBE UMR 3685 - Nanosciences et Innovation pour les Matériaux, la Biomédecine et l'Energie (ex SIS2M)
Abstract : Brain water and some critically important energy metabolites, such as lactate or glucose, are present in both intracellular and extracellular spaces (ICS/ECS) at significant levels. This ubiquitous nature makes diffusion MRI/MRS data sometimes difficult to interpret and model. While it is possible to glean information on the diffusion properties in ICS by measuring the diffusion of purely intracellular endogenous metabolites (such as NAA), the absence of endogenous markers specific to ECS hampers similar analyses in this compartment. In past experiments, exogenous probes have therefore been injected into the brain to assess their apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and thus estimate tortuosity in ECS. Here, we use a similar approach in mice by injecting sucrose, a well-known ECS marker, in either the lateral ventricles or directly in the prefrontal cortex. For the first time, we propose a thorough characterization of ECS diffusion properties encompassing (1) short-range restriction by looking at signal attenuation at high b values, (2) tortuosity and long-range restriction by measuring ADC time-dependence at long diffusion times and (3) microscopic anisotropy by performing double diffusion encoding (DDE) measurements. Overall, sucrose diffusion behavior is strikingly different from that of intracellular metabolites. Acquisitions at high b values not only reveal faster sucrose diffusion but also some sensitivity to restriction, suggesting that the diffusion in ECS is not fully Gaussian at high b. The time evolution of the ADC at long diffusion times shows that the tortuosity regime is not reached yet in the case of sucrose, while DDE experiments suggest that it is not trapped in elongated structures. No major difference in sucrose diffusion properties is reported between the two investigated routes of injection and brain regions. These original experimental insights should be useful to better interpret and model the diffusion signal of molecules that are distributed between ICS and ECS compartments.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 1, 2021 - 8:11:55 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 3:41:30 AM

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Mélissa Vincent, Mylène Gaudin, Covadonga Lucas‐torres, Alan Wong, Carole Escartin, et al.. Characterizing extracellular diffusion properties using diffusion‐weighted MRS of sucrose injected in mouse brain. NMR in Biomedicine, Wiley, 2021, 34 (4), pp.e4478. ⟨10.1002/nbm.4478⟩. ⟨cea-03126700⟩

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