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Gadofluorine M-enhanced MRI shows involvement of circumventricular organs in neuroinflammation

DOI: 10.1186/1742-2094-7-70

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In a longitudinal study we investigated in vivo alterations of CVO during neuroinflammation, applying Gadofluorine M- (Gf) enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. SJL/J mice were monitored by Gadopentate dimeglumine- (Gd-DTPA) and Gf-enhanced MRI after adoptive transfer of proteolipid-protein-specific T cells. Mean Gf intensity ratios were calculated individually for different CVO and correlated to the clinical disease course. Subsequently, the tissue distribution of fluorescence-labeled Gf as well as the extent of cellular inflammation was assessed in corresponding histological slices.We could show that the Gf signal intensity of the choroid plexus, the subfornicular organ and the area postrema increased significantly during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, correlating with (1) disease severity and (2) the delay of disease onset after immunization. For the choroid plexus, the extent of Gf enhancement served as a diagnostic criterion to distinguish between diseased and healthy control mice with a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 80%. Furthermore, Gf improved the detection of lesions, being particularly sensitive to optic neuritis. In correlated histological slices, Gf initially accumulated in the extracellular matrix surrounding inflammatory foci and was subsequently incorporated by macrophages/microglia.Gf-enhanced MRI provides a novel highly sensitive technique to study cerebral BBB alterations. We demonstrate for the first time in vivo the involvement of CVO during the development of neuroinflammation.The central nervous system (CNS) may no longer be considered immune privileged but rather a site of selective immune activity [1,2]. This so-called restricted immunity is warranted by the barrier function of capillary endothelium, which channels the entry of serum proteins and immune cells from the blood to the CNS or the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), respectively [1


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