Purkinje cell loss in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
MacKenzie-Graham A, Tiwari-Woodruff SK, Sharma G, Aguilar C, Vo KT, Strickland LV, Morales L, Fubara B, Martin M, Jacobs RE, Johnson GA, Toga AW, Voskuhl RR.
Institution: Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1769 USA
PubMed ID: 19589388
Gray matter atrophy observed by brain MRI is an important correlate to clinical disability and disease duration in multiple sclerosis. The objective of this study was to link brain atrophy visualized by neuroimaging to its underlying neuropathology using the MS model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Volumetric changes in brains of EAE mice, as well as matched healthy normal controls, were quantified by collecting post-mortem high-resolution T2-weighted magnetic resonance microscopy and actively stained magnetic resonance histology images. Anatomical delineations demonstrated a significant decrease in the volume of the whole cerebellum, cerebellar cortex, and molecular layer of the cerebellar cortex in EAE as compared to normal controls. The pro-apoptotic marker caspase-3 was detected in Purkinje cells and a significant decrease in Purkinje cell number was found in EAE. Cross modality and temporal correlations revealed a significant association between Purkinje cell loss on neuropathology and atrophy of the molecular layer of the cerebellar cortex by neuroimaging. These results demonstrate the power of using combined population atlasing and neuropathology approaches to discern novel insights underlying gray matter atrophy in animal models of neurodegenerative disease.